Photo: Nicki Fietzer

Marina K.

Russia-USA

28, Peace activist. Women’s rights defender with Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
New York, NY

I came to the United States when I was twenty years old. I left my family and career behind as I ran away from prejudice, corruption, hatred and human rights collapse. I applied for asylum once I have arrived to this country in 2009; however, I still remain undocumented to this day. Since I have no access to scholarships and no parental support here, I have been working through my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have had a variety of jobs starting from washing dishes to conducting research to now advocating for women’s rights in national and international forums. To my surprise, living in this country without any ability to look into future certainly felt much safer than being at home. Well, not anymore.

Why did your family come to the United States? I came to the United States to build the life I have envisioned for myself - not the life that I had to live because of the social status and ethnic affiliation of my family.

What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned? Immigrants are more likely to stand up and defend values of this country. Immigrants know what they want. They generate dynamism and aspiration.