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Illustration of people walking in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty

True Story

As an undocumented immigrant for 16 years, Thiago Heil­man lived with the constant fear that he could be deported. So when he produced a “digital story” as part of professor Erika Lee’s immigration history class, it felt “a little like being naked in front of a crowd,” he says. His story is part of the Immigrant Stories initiative at the Immigration History Research Center, as part of its mission to work with recent immigrants and refugees to preserve their histories.
Portrait: Kim Wong Ark

Historian Erika Lee on the Supreme Court Case That Safeguarded Birthright Citizenship

Professor Erika Lee describes the 1898 Supreme Court case of Wong Kim Ark vs. the United States, which safeguarded the birthright citizenship of people born in the US, regardless of their parents' immigration status. Birthright citizenship has received renewed attention in light of presidential candidates calling to repeal this right.