These students were from Heber Middle School, in the Imperial Valley near the Mexican border near Calexico and El Centro. Their teachers participated in a training session from the California State Parks’ PORTS (Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students) program, funded by the California State Parks Foundation. Thanks to all the students and teachers involved.

By Kevin R.



One day a child with hopes and dreams in a land of pride

A few months later, a thought was created by a hopeful father

After, a decision was made

The same day, sorrow came

The child’s dreams were destroyed

But to be reconstructed with hope and opportunity

In a new place

A few months later, the waiting games have begun

Day after day just waiting in the dark

Thoughts have been surging through her head

“Where am I going to live, what are my rights as an immigrant?”

Until finally, the games had ended

She will finally travel

To the land of the unknown

Upon arrival, the child was greeted with the sight of a beautiful city

San Francisco

She stayed in a small house surrounded by unknown people

Speaking unknown languages in the town of dragons

Many years later, the child’s fear of the unknown was no more

She had become a proud parent and an American citizen to the heart


By Gizelle S.

Immigration Poem

She looks out her window saying goodbye to her home she once loved

The wind blows slightly in recognition of her leaving

A tear drops from her eyes as she leaves behind her childhood; her old home

Her parents go their separate ways, one going left, and one going right

As time passes by, her parents reunite in the house they can now recognize as home

She sees a new start, a new chance

Cheers to new beginnings and cheers to an end

She watches the owls and sees them staring back at her smiling as if welcoming her

She watches as she drifts off to sleep, for tomorrow is a new beginning

Cheers to new beginnings and cheers to an end

She awakens to her new home pleased with the hard decision made by her parents

She rubs her eyes and is hit by the morning breeze from Calexico

She greets the neighbors and greets her new long-time friends

She sees opportunity and freedom within this chapter

She waves “Hello” at the border that separates her from now and before

The border waves back in recognition and sadness

She withholds her tears for this is a new beginning that holds good things

Cheers to new beginnings and cheers to an end

Years later, she walks into a building seeking opportunity

She grasps at the opportunity unknowingly of how this would majorly impact her life

She now looks at the building that gave her opportunity and a new beginning with a smile

Cheers to new beginnings and cheers to an end

She smiles at the stranger that would unknowingly be a major impact on her and her family

She smiles realizing that this was her new chapter

She smiles realizing she was thankful

She smiles realizing she was happy

Today, she will finally be able to say “Cheers to a new beginning and to an end” truthfully

Today, she will be thankful for her immigration story and the chances she has received

Today, she will look back and will be able to say she made it happily and lovingly for her parents made a decision she will forever be grateful for

By Isaih N. E.


A Woman with Tears

A young girl with sad tears

Thinking of her fears

Hoping everything will be fine

Leaving everything behind

Her father guiding the way

Her mother wanting to stay

A young teen with lasting tears

Wanting to know what’s going on

Leaving her pet dog behind

She feels the sweat on her hands to meet new friends

Going to a new school

It didn't really seem that cool

Now an adult with tears

Wonders how she made it so far

Missing her father

Loving her mother

She is teaching good minds

A successful woman full of kinds

By Samuel A.


My name is Miguel, Oh I was only 7 years old when we moved to the U.S.

I went from the deserts of Jalisco, to the evergreens of The United States.

No it wasn’t easy, not one bit.

We traveled thousands of miles

No it wasn’t easy not one bit.

We crossed many mountains, many deserts, many corn fields

No it wasn’t easy not one bit.

Many cuts many bruises, lots of arguments,

No it wasn’t easy not one bit.

We always hoped for a better life my siblings and I, It was really hard to say bye bye.

It wasn’t easy no…not one bit

Going to a new country, leaving my friends, my place I called home

No it wasn’t easy not one bit

Leaving the beautiful countryside and my favorite flour tortillas and rice I thought about

Everything that might happen not one positive thought lingered in my mind.

No it wasn’t easy no one bit

When we reached checkpoint, border agents were everywhere, and in just a quick second we arrived in El Paso Texas.

Now, I have a successful life with a loving wife.  I’m thankful for my kids, my nephews, my health.

Thank you for visiting Immigrant Voices. We are currently updating our pages. Please check back.

AIISF has arranged for 50 special packages including ferry tickets, shuttle from the ferry dock to the Immigration Station, box lunch, admission to the National Historic Landmark, and tote bag. Here is the schedule:

9:15 Arrive at Pier 39/41 in San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf to register
9:30 Board ferry and depart for Angel Island
10:10 Arrive on Angel Island
10:30 Leave on shuttle to Immigration Station
10:45 Explore grounds of Immigration Station
11:00 Open House of Immigration Station begins
12:15 Talk in Mess Hall Building about resources available to learn about Angel Island and other West Coast ancestors. Special guest speakers will be genealogist and former National Archives staff member Marisa Louie Lee and Zack Wilske, historian with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Lunches will be distributed for those who have ordered them.
1:30 Explore Immigration Station
3:00 Shuttle to return to ferry dock
3:20 Depart for San Francisco
3:50 Arrive in San Francisco

You can purchase the inclusive package for Friday's event on the Eventbrite page.

Once we reach the shuttle capacity of 50, people can still attend but will need to make their own arrangements for the ferry from San Francisco ( or Tiburon (, take the pleasant one mile walk to the Immigration Station (after first climbing 140 steps!), and either bring their lunch or purchase one at the cafe near the arrival dock and pay the $5 admission to the Immigration Station when they enter the building.

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