All content credited to Chris González LaCorte 

Q: I come from a family of immigrants to the US. For the past few years, it’s become increasingly difficult for my family and me to feel proud of being American. My family members have become naturalized citizens and have done everything to contribute to society the best they know, but it’s still difficult. In a country where being an immigrant or of a different ethnicity has been stigmatized for so long, what advice do you have for us to feel some pride? 

A: Whew. This is an emotional one, reader. I, too, am the child of immigrants who have done nothing but contribute positively to society and underwent the citizenship process early on in my life. My father was born in the states and left as a child only to come back, and my mother was born in South America and moved here with him for college, here ever since. 

The country developed a nasty taste in its mouth for immigrants in the past few years, but I’m hopeful that’s changing. Never forget that this country was founded on the backs of immigrants; whether they were willingly or forcefully brought here, it was. This country would not exist without immigrants. They’re contributing members of society and have held positions across the workforce that help to build this country up. Never forget that. Be proud of your heritage, but be proud of the America your parents helped to build. Racists will always be there, but resilience is stronger than hate. You’ve proven to me by writing today that you are resilient, your family is resilient, and you have a voice that needs to be heard. Ask yourself how you can change the stigma against immigrants even more. You have power in this country, and you should use it! Carry on a family legacy that continues to change this nation’s energy!