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interview Essay

Project 1: Interview Essay

Conduct a brief interview with an Asian immigrant to ask about their immigration story and push-pull factors. This can last 5-15 minutes. Then, write a 2 paragraphs on the DB.

You do not have to include the person’s real name! Immigration status is a sensitive topic, so please understand if someone does not want to be interviewed. Students have interviewed friends, family members, people in their community, and other students.

Project 1: Prompt

1. Brief facts: Around what age did they immigrate? How old are they now (in my 30s is acceptable)? What push-pull factors led them to immigrate to the U.S.? (You may have to explain what push-pull factors are.)

2. Add your own comments/perspective and perhaps even your own immigration story. What aspects of their story did you find interesting or surprising? What aspects were familiar to you?


       I conducted a 10 minute interview with my neighbor "Dr. Villanueva" who immigrated to the U.S. over 45 years ago at the age of 26. I asked him about his push and pull factors. What reasons did he have for leaving his home country and why did he choose the U.S. as his new home? He stated that he wanted to leave the Philippines for a better life and more opportunities. He had grown up as the youngest of nine children and was very poor, but was able to study medicine and become a medical doctor specializing in ophthalmology. He heard that the U.S. was encouraging medical professionals to work there especially if they were fluent in English. According to our reading "Filipinos in America," (Lee 2015) the Philippines was a colony of the U.S. from 1898-1945 and English was taught in the education system (Lee, p. 90). Plus, many Filipinos then and still today dream about immigrating to the United States to improve their educational and financial opportunities. Dr. Villanueva came to the U.S. after the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act abolished national quotas but limited immigration from Asia to educated professionals. When I asked if he felt that he experienced discrimination, Dr. Villanueva said yes, many times, but overall he is glad that he immigrated because his children had so many more opportunities in the U.S. Often, people still think that he is a foreigner or can't speak English. There have been a few occasions that people directed racial slurs at him, but he has not experienced any physical harm. 

     Dr. Villanueva seems to fit much of the data on Asian Americans that we studied in this class. However, I noticed some ways that he did not. For example, {etc....}  Dr. Villanueva's story is much different than my grandparents' story who immigrated from __ and did not have college degrees when they arrived.  [ADD YOUR PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON THE INTERVIEW.]

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