American History Unfolds in Green Card Stories

As a nation largely made from our immigration stories, a new book from Umbrage editions, called Green Card Stories, looks at how the United States continues to be enriched and created by our newest residents.

According to Miami news station Local 10, the book is the brainchild of immigration lawyers Laura Danielson and Stephen Yale-Loehr. The book’s main point is to work as a counterbalance to the increasingly bitter feelings over immigration in the United States.

The book features the stories of 50 individuals who have recently immigrated to the United states and now hold a permanent green card or citizenship. Complemented by rich portraits and compelling narratives of the many different people, the book hopes to remind current U.S. citizens that it is cultural diversity and individual talents that have led to the nation’s historic success.

According to the book’s official website, immigrants highlighted in the work have come from all over the world and for a variety of reasons. One former Liberian resident, Saah Quigee, left his home country to escape the turmoil of a civil war. Coming to the United States on a student visa, Quigee is now a U.S. citizen who supervises Cornell’s Africana studies library. Thupten Lama was a teacher in Tibet who lived in exile for many years before moving to Minnesota. Given political asylum, Lama now teaches Buddhism classes.

While many of the book’s narratives focus on the lives of those who came to the United States as adults, others feature individuals who had lived nearly their entire lives in America, yet faced just as difficult a road to citizenship. Randolph Sealey, for example, grew up in Brooklyn and earned a private scholarship to study medicine. Now an orthopedic surgeon, Sealey ironically earned his permanent residence after a judge cancelled his deportation proceedings.