Best 141 of Immigrants quotes - MyQuotes
Why should citizenship depend on one exclusive form of a relationship? What about love between friends, community, love of work?
After all, we are all immigrants to the future; none of us is a native in that land. Margaret Mead famously wrote about the profound changes wrought by the Second World War, “All of us who grew up before the war are immigrants in time, immigrants from an earlier world, living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before.” Today we are again in the early stages of defining a new age. The very underpinnings of our society and institutions--from how we work to how we create value, govern, trade, learn, and innovate--are being profoundly reshaped by amplified individuals. We are indeed all migrating to a new land and should be looking at the new landscape emerging before us like immigrants: ready to learn a new language, a new way of doing things, anticipating new beginnings with a sense of excitement, if also with a bit of understandable trepidation.
I made many decisions, some awful and others brilliant, but I found ways to keep that openness in my soul that meant more to me than breathing. I told them over the years what I was doing, how I was trying what no one in my family had ever tried to do. When I was failing, I admitted that as well, and they listened politely. I also knew that’s all they could do. One lonely night in Connecticut, I pulled myself from a window’s ledge. No one else next to me. Another day I chose to do something someone like me should have never accomplished, and yet I did, and kept going. I learned to recognize when others, like Jean, were much better than me, because they had faith in my soul. I believed in very little, but I kept going until I would get tired or defeated, and then I would take time to discover another wall to throw myself at. I was, and I am, and I will be, a peculiar kind of immigrant’s son. I got old, and that made everything better, including me.
In the 1930's Yanik brought blinis and apple charlottes, beef stroganoff and kulich to Tehran, opening the first confectionary with a garden café. He came with his wife, Nina, who spooned cinnamon-scented ground beef and onions into delicate piroshkies and learned to cook Persian food by trial and error, nourishing her family and customers with a generous spirit, mingling delicately with neighbors, and learning to speak Farsi. To steady their leap across borders, Yanik changed his surname from Yedemsky to Yadegar, and planted a small orchard of pomegranate, almond, and mulberry trees that would shade the terrace tables.
A nation forgetting its own laughter is in a sad state of affairs
All of us together were of a generation born of old country people who spoke English with an accent and prayed in another language, who drank red wine and cooked their food in the old country way, and peeled apples and pears after dinner.
They shouldnt teach their immigrants' kids all about democracy unless they mean to let them have a little bit of it, it ony makes for trouble. Me and the United States is dissociating our alliance as of right now, until the United States can find time to read its own textbooks a little.
He asked me if the alligator was a national symbol of the United States, because you saw them everywhere on people's shirts, just above the heart.
Thank God for immigrants. They're the only ones who have any personality left. They still allow themselves emotions, judgments, and all those qualities that we are "evolving" past. I don't know what they're saying, but I can tell they're speaking honestly.
Oliver Markus Malloy
Hitler’s Nazi mob didn’t think of themselves as the bad guys. They thought of themselves as the victims of evil foreigners. Just like Trump’s MAGA mob.
Her occupation was the worst that anyone could think of. No guest in the park had to think of it because, unlike the wandering dwarf women, her job had no bearing on paper.
When immigrants go into the worse neighborhood and they fix it up, they should become citizens.
When we came to America, though, we didn't know what the right thing was. Here we lived with no map. We became invisible, the people who swam in between other people's lives, bussing dishes, delivering groceries. What was wrong? We didn't know. The most important thing, Abba said, was not to stick out. Don't let them see you. But I think it hurt him, to hide so much.
Bigotry hurts the economy, so the next time you want to blame minorities for your problems, first take a look in the mirror.
You tell me you are a poet. If so, our destination is the same. I find myself now the boatman, driving a taxi at the end of the world. I will see that you arrive safely, my friend, I will get you there.
You've been foreign all your life. When you finally leave, all you're hoping for is a more bearable kind of foreignness.
Con l'attiva cooperazione di governi e di altri personaggi pubblici che trovano nell'opera di appoggio e fomentazione del pregiudizio comune gli unici strumenti sostitutivi di una politica tesa ad affrontare le cause reali dell'incertezza esistenziale che ossessiona i loro elettori, i "rifugiati" [...] sostituiscono streghe maligne, fantasmi di malfattori impenitenti e altri spiritelli e spauracchi vari che popolano le leggende metropolitane.
I have only one loyalty and that's to the immigrant community.
V. S. Naipaul
But the airplane is a wonderful thing. You are still in one place when you arrive at the other. The airplane is faster than the heart. You arrive quickly and you leave quickly. You don't grieve too much. And there is something else about the airplane. You can go back many times to the same place. And something strange happens if you go back often enough. You stop grieving for the past. You see that the past is something in your mind alone, that it doesn't exist in real life. You trample on the past, you crush it. In the beginning it is like trampling on a garden. In the end you are just walking on ground. That is the way we have to learn to live now. The past is here." He touched his heart. "It isn't there." And he pointed at the dusty road.
It’s a great honor, m’ijo. We know that. I’m sure everyone in Ysleta is proud of you. But this is who you are," she said, for a moment scanning the dark night air and the empty street. A cricket chirped in the darkness. "God help you when you go to this ‘Havid.’ You will be so far away from us, from everything you know. You will be alone. What if something happens to you? Who’s going to help you? But you always wanted to be alone; you were always so independent, so stubborn." "Like you.
I believe that each person has a favorite place, a tree, a mountain, or a beach which they want to come back to, even if the return can only take place in the boundaries of their imagination.
What tethers me to my parents is the unspoken dialogue we share about how much of my character is built on the connection I feel to the world they were raised in but that I've only experienced through photos, visits, food. It's not mine and yet, I get it. First-generation kids, I've always thought, are the personification of déjà vu.
Something crackles on my skin like a fire. He felt me in that moment, he understood what it was to me.
It may be that writers in my position,exiles, or emigrants or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back, even at the risk of being mutilated into pillars of salt. But if we do look back, we must do in the knowledge - which gives rise to profound uncertainties- that our physical alienation from India almost inevitably means that we will not be capable of reclaiming precisely the thing that was lost, that we will, in short, create fictions, not actual cities or villages, but invisible ones, imaginary homelands, Indias of the mind.
Everyone wants Kashmir but no one wants Kashmiris. Aren't I a miracle? A seed that survived the slaughter & slaughters to come. I think I believe in freedom I just don't know where it is. I think I believe in home, I just don't know where to look.
Crazy how so many British people can walk into Tesco, see 30 self-service checkouts, and still believe that it's immigrants who are taking all the jobs.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
She recognized in Kelsey the nationalism of liberal Americans who copiously criticized America but did not like you to do so; they expected you to be silent and grateful, and always reminded you of how much better than wherever you had come from America was.
Nobody likes these things life hands us. But part of becoming a man is understanding how to face them head on instead of running all the time. It's time you learned how to do that.
He knew that he, Millat, was a Paki no matter where he came from; that he smelled of curry; had no sexual identity; took other people’s jobs; or had no job and bummed off the state; or gave all the jobs to his relatives; that he could be a dentist or a shop-owner or a curry-shifter, but not a footballer or a filmmaker; that he should go back to his own country; or stay here and earn his bloody keep; that he worshiped elephants and wore turbans; that no one who looked like Millat, or spoke like Millat, or felt like Millat, was ever on the news unless they had recently been murdered.
—Tú hablas sin palabras. Todos estamos siempre hablando sin palabras. —¿Y para qué valen las palabras, entonces? —No valen para mucho, casi nunca. La mayor parte de las veces, únicamente para ocultar aquello que realmente quieres decir, o algo que quieres saber.
My definition of an intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture without thinking of the Lone Ranger" - Billy Connolly
Men and women are immigrants in each other's worlds.
I hated seeing these spasmodic upside-down chicken heads stretching to puncture my flesh. I imagined once that they reached my groin and pecked out my penis and my huevos and kept pecking until they got to my gut and my eyes and my brain, until I was just a pecked-out piece of human meat surrounded by thousands of nervous, dirty white chickens. I think that was about the time I fucked up a pair of chicken heads against a warehouse wall when no one was looking. Well, almost no one. Rueben was right behind me, and that's when he grinned his stupid grin. Maybe he hated the chickens as much as I did. Maybe he just knew que ya me iba también a la chingada. Maybe I was going on my first joy ride to hell and back, and it was fun to watch.
I have heard it said we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere. But I hear your mother's voice, over the tide. and she whispers in my ear, "Oh, but if they saw, my darling. Even half of what you have. If only they saw. They would say kinder things, surely.
Superorganism. A biologist coined that word for our great African ant colonies, claiming that consciousness and intelligence resided not in the individual ant but in the collective ant mind. The trail of red taillights stretching to the horizon as day broke around us made me think of that term. Order and purpose must reside somewhere other than within each vehicle. That morning I heard the hum, the respiration of the superorganism. It's a sound the new immigrant hears but not for long. By the time I learned to say "6-inch Number 7 on rye with Swiss hold the lettuce," the sound, too, was gone. It became part of the what the mind would label silence. You were subsumed into the superorganism.
And I believed him. It was genuine, that confusion, and that was the first time I really saw him, I think- when I understood that his social persona was concealing none of what I'd always thought it was, but actual kindness instead, that there was a kind streak at his core.
It wasn't like the spare rooms of immigrants––packed to the rafters with all that they have ever possessed, no matter how defective or damaged, mountains of odds and ends––that stand testament to the fact that they have things now, where before they had nothing.
Long before Emma Lazarus welcomed the tired and poor, Washington declared that the 'bosom of America [was] open to receive, the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions, whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It was the exaggerated gratitude that came with immigrant insecurity.
And yet. When I read the Dawn on line and then looked around me to the pristine surroundings of campus life, I knew that every other city in the world only showed me its surface, but when I looked at Karachi I saw the blood running through and out of its veins; I knew that I understood the unspoken as much as the articulated among its inhabitants; I knew that there were so many reasons to fail to love it, to cease to love it, to be unable to love it, that it made love a fierce and unfathomable thing; I knew I couldn’t think of Karachi and find any easy answers, and I didn’t know how to decide if that was reason to go back or reason to stay away.
Years from now we might be saying it's hyperbolic to compare someone to Donald Trump, because we will be quite sure no one could be that cruel.
I didn't want to be an immigrant. I was forced to be an immigrant. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French writer, said that the powerful and the happy never go into exile. He was right.
Donald Trump, who had 5 kids (that we know of) with 3 wives (one of which was an immigrant), accuses immigrants of "breeding".
He had left home one day, yesterday, and come home today, and the change was too much for him to bear. And this was why he could not go home all at once.
What's with everybody always trying to get rid of the Indians?" I said, not really asking for an answer. I thought again of the history-book pictures. Astronomers and brain surgeons. They should have done brain surgery on Columbus while they had the chance.
We certainly employ a lot of immigrants at Fox... and we do not take any consistent anti-immigrant line.
Min Jin Lee
And this is something Solomon must understand. We can be deported. We have no motherland. Life is full of things he cannot control so he must adapt. My boy has to survive.
What emerged for me as purpose was the search for and cultivation of possibilities for experiencing meaningful human transactions in different languages and across cultural differences through play, sports, travel, food, literature, and conversation. I sought to establish relations of mutual understanding and love with people no matter what their culture or place of origin in the world—relations based on philia, eros, and agape, according to context and persons. I perhaps sensed instinctively that such relations were the key to being equally at home everywhere, even in la Yunai. More than an immigrant, at that time I still felt myself to be a sojourner in this country, but I wanted my sojourn to be imbued with the meaning found in earnest, sincere connections with the people and places that life brought to my experience.
We are not meant to be in this country. We did not want to come. We were forced to flee or die. Americans perceive desperate brown masses swarming at their golden shores, wildly inventing claims of persecution for the opportunity to flourish in this prosperous land. The view from beneath the bridge is somewhat different: reluctant refugees with an aching love of their forsaken homeland, of a homeland that has forsaken them, refugees who desire nothing more than to be home again.
The question of receiving the immigrant is an ethical issue that becomes a political issue.