Julia Ioffe: Modern Day American Refugee

Julia Ioffe is an American journalist who covers national security and foreign policy topics for The Atlantic.

On January 29, 2017, she published an article entitled, “This is What It’s Like to Come to the United States as a Refugee.”

Julia Ioffe

The piece is a first-person essay that brings to light the very personal emotions Ioffe faced as a refugee immigrant to this nation, immigrating here from the Soviet Union. Her words slice through political policy and help us understand the heart-wrenching feelings refugees endure. Continue reading

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Don’t Reject Immigrants; We Need Them, They Enrich Us

During an American Naturalization Ceremony in 1984, the keynote speaker gave the following speech:

“Fifty million immigrants came to this country in the last 200 years. Some of the most recent have crawled over walls and under barbed wire and through mine fields, and some of them risked their lives in makeshift boats.

“And all of them have added to the sum total of what your new country is. They gave us their traditions. They gave us their words. They enlivened the national life with new ideas and new blood…

“We don’t reject them. We need them. They enrich us.”

Who was this progressive sympathizer who so strongly supported immigration and naturalization?

Naturalization Ceremony

Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 18

Immigrants Henry Baldwin, Sr, Ezekiel & Susanna Richardson

Last week we learned about immigrant John Taylor and his wife, Julia A. Dyer (my three times great-grandparents). Julia was born and grew up in New Sharon, Maine in the 1800s, but several of her ancestors sailed here from England in the 1600s. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 15

Immigrants Austin Kilham, Alice Gorball, and John Kilham

Austin “Augustine” Kilham (my nine times great-grandfather) sailed from England with his wife, Alice Gorball, and their three children on the Mary Anne in 1637. His son, John (my eight times great-grandfather), was nine years old at the time.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 14

Immigrants Thomas Moore, Ann Grafton, Daniel Ladd, George Corliss, Thomas Davis, and Christian Coffer

This week I introduce six more of my ancestors who immigrated from England in the first half of the 17th Century. They were among the original founders of the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, a part of the wild western frontier of that time.

The immigrants suffered no small heartbreak when one of their sons was killed by Native Americans, and a grandson was captured and physically maimed.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 13

Immigrants William Kinge and Dorothy Hayne 

When I think of the King family line, I normally think of my mother’s side of the family—her maiden name is King. But there are Kings on my father’s side of the family as well.

Originally spelled Kinge, William Kinge (my nine times great-grandfather) was a religious rebel of his day. He was banished from the First Church at Salem (Massachusetts) and was forced to surrender his gun.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 10

Immigrants William Reed & Mabel Kendall, Francis Wyman & Abigail Justice Reed

Normally we do not think of Massachusetts as a slave state, but there were African-American and Native American slaves in Massachusetts as far back as the 1630s. I am displeased to acknowledge one of my ancestors, Francis Wyman (my eight times great-grandfather) was a slave owner. Continue reading