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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To Make California a True Democracy, Give Non-Citizens the Right to Vote

If You Root for the Dodgers, Pay Taxes, and Battle Traffic, Are You Any Less Californian Than Me?

President Trump claims that California allowed millions of non-citizens to cast ballots in the 2016 elections. This allegation, while totally bogus, has put California and its political leaders on the …

Want to Protect Immigrants? Help Integrate Them into Our City.

Local Jobs, Language Skills, and a Path to Citizenship Are the Best Defense Against Anti-Immigrant Fervor

Is it any wonder that immigrant Los Angeles finds itself in the eye of Tropical Storm Don?

President Trump has stormed in with talk of Muslim travel bans, plans to build …

At “Constitution Cafés,” We, the People, Try to Form a More Perfect Union

How I'm Getting Citizens Together to Rewrite Our Government’s Sacred Text

Are Americans finally ready to un-rig their Constitutional system?

I’ve spent nearly the past decade traveling the United States and talking with people about the Constitutional system, and I think the …

Pledging Allegiance to Our Different—and Shared—Ideals of Citizenship

Even in Times of Bitter Partisanship, Americans Can Unite Around Common Beliefs and Goals

Citizenship in the United States is distinguished by how many different and contradictory abilities and actions it requires of citizens, said panelists at a Smithsonian/Zócalo “What It Means to Be …

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 …