I Survived the Gangs and the Border Crossing—but Trump Has Put New Obstacles in My Path

A Young Undocumented Salvadoran Immigrant Won't Quit His Dream of Becoming an American

If you quit today, everything you did yesterday will be wasted.

That is the phrase I grew up living in my native El Salvador.

I emigrated to Los Angeles in 2014, a long trip by land that took me two months. I needed to leave San Salvador: I had dreams of being a journalist, but I had no money. I could only afford two years at the Technological University of El Salvador. And economic life was too dominated by maras, or gangs. They are engaged in widespread extortion and selling drugs.

So with …

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California, Let’s Celebrate July 4 by Declaring Independence

With the U.S. Mired in Midlife Crisis, It's Time to Put the Golden State First

Dear America,

I suppose I should wish you happy birthday. But I’m just not feeling it.

You and I, the United States and California, used to be pretty darn close—“indivisible” was your …

The Faux “Sioux” Sharpshooter Who Became Annie Oakley’s Rival

By Reinventing Herself as Indian, Lillian Smith Became a Wild West Sensation—and Escaped an Unhappy Past

At about 10:30 a.m. on the morning of August 3, 1901, more than 100,000 people jostled to catch a glimpse of Frederick Cummins’ Indian Congress parade at the Pan-American …

The Many Ways to Be a Good Citizen

From the Revolutionary Era to Today, "Doing Your Part” Has Meant Different Things for Different Americans

The Constitution tells us what makes a citizen of the United States, legally speaking. But over the decades, American citizenship—and the ingredients that make a good citizen in a …

In My Family’s American Dream, Bootstraps Met Blocks of Government Cheese

After an Arduous Journey Emigrating from Vietnam in the ‘70s, the Author Benefitted from Both Personal Resilience and Public Assistance

I spoke my first words on a boat: “milk,” “cockroach,” and “itchy.” An unusual toddler vocabulary perhaps, but not surprising considering that I spent the second year of my …