Photo: Steve Nettnin

Saptarshi (Rish) M.


35, Engineer
Detroit, Michigan

I was born in Calcutta, India. At 24 years old, I came here to Pittsburgh, Kansas to study engineering as a transfer student. From there, I moved to Warsaw, Indiana; Lafayette, Indiana; Ohio; and finally to Michigan in 2013. When I came to the United States, I Identified with the culture. I identified with the freedom--that you can be anything you want here, that you’re allowed to speak your mind and that everyone is equal.

Why did your family come to the United States? My dad was a teacher and he wanted me to be an engineer. When my mom passed away, he urged me to come to the United States to try to be the engineer he hoped I would be.

What would the U.S. be missing out on if you or your people were banned? My dad used to tell me that the reason he put me in a Catholic school was so when I grew up I would be a global citizen. Now that I’m married to an American, I think I bring a lot of international culture and heritage. It’s easy to talk to people who are open to listening to you.