What Immigration means to me

Written on: April 18, 2014

I grew up in a bi-lingual household. My mother and my Grandmother spoke to each other in Ukrainian. Somewhere in my little girl mind I knew that my Grandmother was not born in the US. But, when I was about six years old, I remember watching my Grandmother struggle to print and sign her name to a document that had the word “Alien” on it.

My Grandmother wasn’t green, didn’t ride in a spaceship and had no weird powers- how could she be an ALIEN?

She apparently had to register her status each year with our Government. It made me sad to think about her having to do that, but I never feared that she would be told she had to return to her native land.

I can’t imagine the fear that young people have today for the people they love that could be sent away, or worse imprisoned, for seeking a better life. They are just like my Grandmother. Doing the best they know for their children and their children’s children. They are brave, strong, loving, hardworking people- not ALIEN in any way.

Maryellen Glackin is the Vocation Director for the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart. Maryellen is married with 4 children and keeps many of her Grandmother’s Ukrainian traditions in her family.


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