Immigration

 

Immigration: Jewish Immigration Through A Philadelphia Native’s Family Eyes

Immigration: Jewish Immigration Through A Philadelphia Native’s Family Eyes

Russian teenagers immigrating to the United States in the early-1900s experienced American freedom even before docking at Ellis Island. For the first time in their lives, these boys and girls spent unsupervised alone time together. The adolescent freedom symbolized more pertinent benefits of living in America, Leon Boonin wrote in his 1940 memoir, “Experiences in […]

 

Immigration: Shaloo Jose Found Her Second Family At HIAS

Immigration: Shaloo Jose Found Her Second Family At HIAS

Shaloo Jose came to America in January 2005 after her husband decided to take a job overseas. She has since visited other big cities in the United States, but her and her family consider Philadelphia to be “home.” After starting at HIAS as an ordinary volunteer, Jose quickly fell in love with the family-like atmosphere […]

 

Immigration: How To Get Health Care

Immigration: How To Get Health Care

While understanding how to enroll for health care services can be a challenge for everybody, immigrants to the United States are far more likely to live uninsured. Navigating the health care process as an immigrant can be challenging due to language barriers, lack of funding for community health centers and outreach and enrollment services, cultural […]

 

Immigration: Councilwoman Helen Gym Calls For Reform, Reflects On City’s Progress

Immigration: Councilwoman Helen Gym Calls For Reform, Reflects On City’s Progress

As the daughter of immigrants, Councilwoman Helen Gym has dedicated much of her time in public service as an at-large member of Philadelphia City Council to advocating for the city’s immigrant and refugee communities. Gym is a former teacher and organizer, notably having worked at Asian-Americans United. She is also the first Asian-American woman to […]

 

Immigration: When English Isn’t The Native Language, Difficulties Arise

Immigration: When English Isn’t The Native Language, Difficulties Arise

Viral incidents of people berating others for not speaking English have gripped the internet. In one case, a New Jersey teacher insisted students “speak American.” In another, a New York lawyer threatened to call Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers after hearing employees and customers speaking Spanish at a lunch spot. “It’s America,” he cried. For […]

 

Immigration: Haitian Roots Inspire Art That Examines ‘Unconventional Bodies’

Immigration: Haitian Roots Inspire Art That Examines ‘Unconventional Bodies’

Didier William is originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and came to the United States in 1990 at the age of 6 with his father and brother to seek asylum. His mother and another brother arrived just a year prior. The political instability at the time that caused many Haitians to come to the U.S. during this […]

 

Housing: How Ceiba Guides Immigrants Seeking A Home

Housing: How Ceiba Guides Immigrants Seeking A Home

As a product of collaboration between four other Latino-focused groups (Esperanza, Norris Square Community Alliance, Concilio de Organizaciones Hispanas de Filadelfia and Finanta), Ceiba is an organization which offers a range of services, including advocacy work and financial literacy programs. Another Ceiba program assists immigrants with a fundamental need: housing. It connects a variety of people […]

 

Immigration: Saida Harpi Uses ESL Classes To Find Common Ground And Unite Communities

Immigration: Saida Harpi Uses ESL Classes To Find Common Ground And Unite Communities

In Saida Harpi’s English language classroom, immigrants from any country are welcome. The blanket offering means the students in Harpi and her coworkers’ classes often come from a variety of countries — including Vietnam, Russia and Algeria — with an equally staggered set of native languages and English skills. Since becoming the lead English teacher […]

 

Housing: Octavia Hill Association’s History Of Offering Immigrant Housing

Housing: Octavia Hill Association’s History Of Offering Immigrant Housing

As waves of immigrants from European countries poured into a crowded Philadelphia, the Octavia Hill Association (OHA) was founded in 1896 to help them find housing. Now, 122 years later, OHA is still around and still manages some of the same properties. In 19th century London, England, Octavia Hill — displeased with her city’s housing situation […]

 

Immigration: Akbar Ahmadzai Helps Non-English Speakers Receive City Services

Immigration: Akbar Ahmadzai Helps Non-English Speakers Receive City Services

At the Nationalities Services Center, Akbar Ahmadzai can help native speakers of 150 languages better understand English. Ahmadzai, the director of language access and proficiency, oversees two programs: NSC’s year-round ESL classes and its interpretation and translation program. Annually, he said NSC helps more than 5,000 people with English proficiency. NSC project managers and independent […]