Immigrant Voices

From Domestic Violence to U.S. Citizenship

Many immigrants come to the United States seeking better opportunities for themselves and their children, but IIBA client Maria Cruz arrived seeking protection from an abusive husband.   In Mexico, Maria had lived on the run, moving from Guanajuato to Morelia to Guadalajara to Mexico City to escape her...

IIBA Lead Citizenship Instructor: Anthony Moss

“I’ve always had a love for language. I’ve always liked working with people from different cultures and backgrounds,” says Anthony Moss. In his 11 years as IIBA’s lead citizenship instructor, Anthony has done exactly that, teaching an average of 400 citizenship students a year.   Anthony’s path to IIBA...

Clients: Brenda and Abigail Santillan

“Our cousins had their phones out and were recording us as we ran toward our grandmother and hugged her for the first time in seventeen years,” said sisters Abigail and Brenda.   At one time Abigail and Brenda thought they’d never get to visit their birth country again. But...

Citizenship Student: Shodi H.

“As a taxi driver, every day I pick up customers from different countries, who share their stories with me. This is very similar to my experience as a student in IIBA’s citizenship classes. I look at my classmates from Ukraine, Mexico, and China, and think, ‘Wow this is the...

SF Dream Fellow: Rene Vasquez

When Rene Vasquez received his DACA approval, he flashed back to the moment, nearly a decade earlier, that his parents told him he was undocumented. “It was the last day of middle school, and my friends were joyfully sharing the trips they would be taking during the summer. I rushed home and asked my...

Jose Coronado portrait
Client: Jose Coronado

Jose Coronado’s father immigrated to the U.S. without his family, in order to lay the foundation for a new life. Determined to reunite his family in the U.S., Mr. Coronado petitioned for the family to join him when Jose was 15 years old. Jose explains, “For the next 13...

Ariana Hoyt portrait
Volunteer: Ariana Hoyt

Ariana Hoyt first began to work with the immigrant community while attending Stanford. “In college, I worked for a tutoring program for Stanford janitors. It opened my eyes to see the janitor I worked with go through so much, yet still make an effort to improve his English.” This...

Olga Hurtado portrait
Client & Volunteer: Olga Hurtado

Though she spent long hours tending the fields in Napa and raising her four children, when Olga Hurtado found herself with a rare spare moment, she indulged her passion for politics, particularly local and national elections. “I enjoyed reading up on each candidate and reviewing their political views. I...

Bill Song
DACA Recipient: Bill Song

When Bill Song, his father, and his sister left Korea to fly to Chicago, he thought they were just going to visit his mother, whom he hadn’t seen for five years. “In reality,” Bill explains, “my father’s business in Korea had failed, and he wanted to give his family...

Volunteer: James Phelps

When high school student James Phelps began volunteering at IIBA, he knew his work would help others, but he had no idea the impact that volunteering would have on his own worldview.   “Before I started volunteering at IIBA, I was unaware that so many immigrants from all over...