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    Posted on Nov 11, 2016

    What Our Immigrant Parents Texted Us On Election Night

    "Let's accept the reality, which does not take always the direction that we want."

    by ,

    With Donald Trump as our president-elect, this election continues to be a very emotional time for a number of people, including immigrants and those whose parents were not born in the United States.

    Charlotte Gomez

    Here are some of the things our immigrant parents texted us on election night.

    1. "Is that good news for USA?"

    Matt Ortile

    "I moved to the US with my mother in 2003, leaving my father behind in the Philippines. He and I have a fine enough relationship, but he's never really been able to relate to me, nor I to him. Still, we have communication; he's in Manila and I'm in New York.

    "He was asking how the election was going as I covered it for work. The fact that he asked, 'Is that good news for USA' numbs me a little bit. Even though I'm now an American citizen, a man who has sworn to deport immigrants is now our president-elect and my father couldn't infer that this is a Bad Thing for his son. 'Gotcha,' you say, Tatay? I don't think you do." —Matt Ortile

    2. "Want to go into a coma for 4 years."

    Nina Mohan

    ​"My parents left Sri Lanka on the brink of the civil war and came to America. In the short time they've been here, they really achieved their dreams. They're wildly successful in their careers, and they have a nice home in a nice area. But to see my mother so crushed really hits hard for me. Even after living here over 30 years, they still feel like outsiders, like they still don't belong. I think this election really reinforced that." —Nina Mohan

    3. "I am so disappointed about the election."

    Christine Lan

    "My parents, from China, came to America about 30 years ago for grad school. Their number one priority has always been education for their kids and while they've never been active in politics, they care deeply about their kids' futures. This election was the first time that my entire family in the US has voted, and this is the first time my mother has ever expressed strong fear after the election results came in." —Christine Lan

    4. "Nueve casa entonces / Find a new home then."

    Conz Preti

    Mom: She needs 270 (implying it wasn't over at 11:24 p.m.)
    Me: It's done mom. It's over.
    Mom: Find a new home then.

    "I come from a family of immigrants, Italians and Spanish that fled the war and settled in Argentina. Growing up, we moved a lot because of my dad's job in an American company. I moved by myself to the US for grad school six years ago. My parents stayed in Argentina." —Conz Preti

    5. "What the hell is wrong with America."

    Rebecca Hendin

    "Our family of Russian Jews came to the US from Russia to escape the Pogroms of the Jews there." —Rebecca Hendin

    6. "God help us."

    Roxanne Emadi

    "My mom is the biggest patriot I've ever met. ... She sent this after hearing from her brother in Poland." —Roxanne Emadi

    7. "I am going to live in Singapore. We are all doomed."

    Alison Willmore

    "My mom was born in China but grew up in Singapore, and while her relationship to the country is complicated, it's still, obviously, a place she feels can be a sanctuary. We've been living in the US since I was three, and I don't have her connection to Singapore, so all I can do is take comfort from her recent discovery of emojis." —Alison Willmore

    8. "Both my parents have green cards but are not full citizens. I'm worried."

    Jordan Shalhoub

    "My stepmother is from Colombia and a dual citizen but both of her parents and two out of four of her siblings are only green card residents. They are proudly and loudly Colombian and as a member of the Latinx community, she's worried. This was not the outcome she wanted or expected." —Jordan Shalhoub

    9. "A man who could never relate to the working class or the world, who's full of hate and ignorance can ... WIN?"

    Elena Garcia

    "My parents are both from Mexico. They immigrated here over 30 years ago before I was even a twinkle in their eye. My dad is from Mexico City and my mom is from Jalostotitlán in the great state of Jalisco. Her parents, my grandparents, still live there for part of the year. My grandfather moved to the US before anyone in my family to be a field worker. The things he's seen, the ways he's been treated... are horrifying. And now, that fear from 50 years ago is here again.

    Both my parents worked harder than anyone I've ever met or seen, just to advance and provide me opportunities that most people won't ever get. I am their interpretation of the American dream. My mother applied for citizenship a few years back and was able to vote in this election, my grandparents and father still have never had the opportunity." —Elena Garcia

    10. "Worried worried about all things women's rights and civil rights — foreign relations, too, especially!"

    Julia Furlan

    "My parents met at UCLA in the '70s. She was a Rhode Island–born hippie, he was a straightlaced São Paulo boy. They got married in the back yard of our house in L.A. and moved to São Paulo when my dad was done with school. I was born in São Paulo and we moved to the US when I was 3.

    "Recently, after ~30 years in the US, my parents sold their house, cast their absentee ballots in Massachusetts and moved to Brazil, which is where they are now. I guess they're both immigrants now in their own ways. My mom is the teeniest, brightest optimist I've ever seen and I'm so grateful to share this world with her right now." —Julia Furlan

    11. "What can we do?"

    Susan Cheng

    Mom: We are only ordinary people!
    Me: What are you talking about?
    Mom: We are only ordinary people! We can't do anything!
    Me: I don't want to live in a racist country.
    Mom: Me too, but what can we do?

    "My mom immigrated to the United States so her kids could have better lives. I am fortunate to have been born and grown up here, but now my heart feels like it's breaking. My own mother doesn't understand my grief because she never had the right to vote for a president when she lived in China. It's been frustrating, but I remind her we live in a democracy and that we must never become compliant or weary." —Susan Cheng

    12. "Let's accept the reality, which does not take always the direction that we want."

    Michelle No

    "My dad (who is Korean) has been an immigrant in multiple countries — spending his adolescence in Paraguay, his twenties and thirties in Italy, and now his adulthood in the states — so he's intimate with the feeling of sacrifice, delayed gratification, and never wholly getting what he wants.

    He knows that progress sometimes comes at a cost, and I think 'Nothing changes,' is his shorthand for 'Let's keep working hard and kicking ass and being good people and pursuing our dreams.'" —Michelle No

    13. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

    "Mom’s Yugoslavian father escaped illegally via ship to escape Nazi occupation. Some of Mom’s Italian family left for the U.S., and some that remained behind were put in labor camps.

    "Dad’s family has ... been here awhile." — Betsy Dickerson

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