Once upon a time, about two and a half years ago, I stumbled upon a bold publication with a name as powerful as its content. The Vindicator, a student run magazine at Cleveland State University, intertwines multiculturalism and social justice. It ultimately provides a safe zone for the expression of all voices, especially those that may have previously been unheard.

Intrigued with its frank and unselfish nature, I automatically decided to contribute to the upcoming month’s issue. This edition’s theme was supposed to be identity.

With my own identity buried in the duality of being an immigrant, my first article ended up being a reflection of this experience. I had quite a few life changing realizations while recanting my fading memories, perceptions, and feelings.

But perceptions and feelings are just that, they are constantly in flux. Reading the piece in retrospect, I noticed that my identity has evolved drastically and realized that certain aspects of this “immigrant existence” have changed radically.

With the political climate raging with reforms in the immigration arena, I feel compelled to say that my experience is purely, authentically, and once and for all –

AMERICAN.

Because after all… what does it mean to be American anymore?

Our stellar American school system (hopefully) produces stellar American citizens; with their cores and hearts deeply embedded in their taught American values.

Whether we came here legally or illegally as young children, we were bound to eventually continue our journeys, as –

AMERICANS.

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