Quotes About Immigrants

Quotes tagged as "immigrants" (showing 1-30 of 71)
Mahmoud Darwish
“I am from there. I am from here.
I am not there and I am not here.
I have two names, which meet and part,
and I have two languages.
I forget which of them I dream in.”
Mahmoud Darwish

Zadie Smith
“But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears - dissolution, disappearance.
Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith
“These days, it feels to me like you make a devil's pact when you walk into this country. You hand over your passport at the check-in, you get stamped, you want to make a little money, get yourself started... but you mean to go back! Who would want to stay? Cold, wet, miserable; terrible food, dreadful newspapers - who would want to stay? In a place where you are never welcomed, only tolerated. Just tolerated. Like you are an animal finally house-trained.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

C.J. Sansom
“We of alien looks or words must stick together.”
C.J. Sansom, Revelation

Zadie Smith
“No fiction, no myths, no lies, no tangled webs - this is how Irie imagined her homeland. Because homeland is one of the magical fantasy words like unicorn and soul and infinity that have now passed into language.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

Ryū Murakami
“All Americans have something lonely about them. I don't know what the reason might be, except maybe that they're all descended from immigrants.”
Ryū Murakami, In the Miso Soup

John Fante
“I have seen them stagger out of their movie palaces and blink their empty eyes in the face of reality once more, and stagger home, to read the Times, to find out what's going on in the world. I have vomited at their newspapers, read their literature, observed their customs, eaten their food, desired their women, gaped at their art. But I am poor, and my name ends with a soft vowel, and they hate me and my father, and my father's father, and they would have my blood and put me down, but they are old now, dying in the sun and in the hot dust of the road, and I am young and full of hope and love for my country and my times, and when I say Greaser to you it is not my heart that speaks, but the quivering of an old wound, and I am ashamed of the terrible thing I have done.”
John Fante, Ask the Dust

Zadie Smith
“It wasn't like the spare rooms of immigrants––packed to the rafters with all that they have ever possessed, no matter how defective or damaged, mountains of odds and ends––that stand testament to the fact that they have things now, where before they had nothing.”
Zadie Smith, White Teeth

John F. Kennedy
“The interaction of disparate cultures, the vehemence of the ideals that led the immigrants here, the opportunity offered by a new life, all gave America a flavor and a character that make it as unmistakable and as remarkable to people today as it was to Alexis de Tocqueville in the early part of the nineteenth century.”
John F. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants

Kamila Shamsie
“And yet. When I read the Dawn on line and then looked around me to the pristine surroundings of campus life, I knew that every other city in the world only showed me its surface, but when I looked at Karachi I saw the blood running through and out of its veins; I knew that I understood the unspoken as much as the articulated among its inhabitants; I knew that there were so many reasons to fail to love it, to cease to love it, to be unable to love it, that it made love a fierce and unfathomable thing; I knew I couldn’t think of Karachi and find any easy answers, and I didn’t know how to decide if that was reason to go back or reason to stay away.”
Kamila Shamsie, Kartography

Abraham Verghese
“Superorganism. A biologist coined that word for our great African ant colonies, claiming that consciousness and intelligence resided not in the individual ant but in the collective ant mind. The trail of red taillights stretching to the horizon as day broke around us made me think of that term. Order and purpose must reside somewhere other than within each vehicle. That morning I heard the hum, the respiration of the superorganism. It's a sound the new immigrant hears but not for long. By the time I learned to say "6-inch Number 7 on rye with Swiss hold the lettuce," the sound, too, was gone. It became part of the what the mind would label silence. You were subsumed into the superorganism.”
Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone

James Jones
“They shouldnt teach their immigrants' kids all about democracy unless they mean to let them have a little bit of it, it ony makes for trouble. Me and the United States is dissociating our alliance as of right now, until the United States can find time to read its own textbooks a little.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

Alex Morritt
“For millenia migrating birds have filled the skies, heading south in search of
warmer climes and richer pickings. Conversely, these days, droves of our fellow beings struggle northbound against all odds, seeking safety and a better life. The key difference ? This vast exodus of human traffic moves in one direction only. A testimony to failed foreign policy and disastrous military intervention that may have sown the seeds of European disintegration.”
Alex Morritt, Impromptu Scribe
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James Jones
“I like it too," Angelo said. "I love this country. Much you and anybody, and you know it."

"I know it," Prew said.

"But I still hate this country. You love the Army. But I dont love the Army. This country's Army is why I hate this country. What did this country ever do for me? Gimme a right to vote for men I cant elect? You can have it. Gimme a right to work at a job I hate? You can have that too. Then tell I'm a Citizen of the greatest richest country on earth, if I dont believe it look at Park Avenue. Carnival prizes. All carnival prizes. [..] They shouldnt teach their immigrants' kids all about democracy unless they mean to let them have a little bit of it, it ony makes for trouble. Me and the United States is dissociating our alliance as of right now, until the United States can find time to read its own textbooks a little."

Prew thought, a little sickly, of the little book, The Man Without A Country that his mother used to read to him so often, and how the stern patriotic judge condemned the man to live on a warship where no one could ever mention home to him the rest of his whole life, and how he had always felt that pinpoint of pleased righteous anger at seeing the traitor get what he deserved.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

June Ahern
“Doomed to Hell. Every last one of you.”
June Ahern, The Skye in June

Sherry Garland
“I have finally learned that I am as much a part of this country as those villagers. Whether they like it or not, my umbilical cord is buried in the earth of Vietnam just like theirs.”
Sherry Garland, Song of the Buffalo Boy

James T. Farrell
“He had come to America, haven of peace and liberty, and it, too, was joining the slaughter, fighting for the big capitalists. There was no peace for men, only murder, cruelty, brutality.”
James T. Farrell, Studs Lonigan

“As we encounter each other, we see our diversity — of background, race, ethnicity, belief – and how we handle that diversity will have much to say about whether we will in the end be able to rise successfully to the great challenges we face today.”
Dan Smith, The State of the World Atlas

Jorge Ramos
“I didn't want to be an immigrant. I was forced to be an immigrant. Alexis de Tocqueville, the French writer, said that the powerful and the happy never go into exile. He was right.”
Jorge Ramos

Richard Wright
“I feel that for white America to understand the significance of the problem of the Negro will take a bigger and tougher America than any we have yet known. I feel that America's past is too shallow, her national character too superficially optimistic, her very morality too suffused with color hate for her to accomplish so vast and complex a task. Culturally the Negro represents a paradox: Though he is an organic part of the nation, he is excluded by the ride and direction of American culture. Frankly, it is felt to be right to exclude him, and it if felt to be wrong to admit him freely. Therefore if, within the confines of its present culture, the nation ever seeks to purge itself of its color hate, it will find itself at war with itself, convulsed by a spasm of emotional and moral confusion. If the nation ever finds itself examining its real relation to the Negro, it will find itself doing infinitely more than that; for the anti-Negro attitude of whites represents but a tiny part - though a symbolically significant one - of the moral attitude of the nation. Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness. Am I damning my native land? No; for I, too, share these faults of character! And I really do not think that America, adolescent and cocksure, a stranger to suffering and travail, an enemy of passion and sacrifice, is ready to probe into its most fundamental beliefs.”
Richard Wright, Black Boy

“All we can infer (from the archaeological shards dug up in Berkshire, Devon and Yorkshire) is that the first Britons, whoever they were and however they came, arrived from elsewhere.
The land (Britain) was once utterly uninhibited. Then people came.”
Robert Winder, Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain

“As it was, being a Zimbabwean immigrant was the worst thing a person could be in Southern Africa. They were the new Hebrews – homeless.”
Thabo Katlholo, The Mud Hut I Grew Upon

“These officials changed names they couldn’t pronounce and tore people from their families, consigning to a return voyage old folks, people with bad eyes, riffraff and also those who looked insolent. Such power was dazzling. The immigrants were reminded of home. ” Ragtime”
E. L. Doctorow

O.E. Rølvaag
“That which the mind in some hidden cove of a Norwegian fjord, or on some lonely island—far out where the mighty sea booms eternally—through centuries had conceived of religious mysticism, and there shaped so as to fit the conditions of life, now sought a natural expression on the open reaches of the prairies.… With these people the feeling of strangeness in this alien land and the utter impossibility of striking new roots here gave to their testimony the tone of deep, rich spiritual experience.”
O.E. Rølvaag, Peder Victorious: A Tale of the Pioneers Twenty Years Later

Lawrence Hill
“Every voter knew that the Family Party had come to power promising to deport Illegals, to manage its borders more efficiently and to ensure that people of traditional European stock weren't overrun in their own country.”
Lawrence Hill, The Illegal

Michel Houellebecq
“These immigrants held out the hope of a new golden age for the old continent.”
Michel Houellebecq, Soumission

Jhumpa Lahiri
“Celui qui n'appartient à aucun lieu spécifique ne peut, en réalité, retourner nulle part.”
Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words

“Foreigner, útlendingur. Ausländer. I have joined the Faculty of Foreign Languages. British people of my generation don't use that world, certainly not as casually as Icelanders. 'Foreigner' is a word I associate with the Daily Mail and the British National Party, a term used only by people who understand the world in binary terms of Us and Them.”
Sarah Moss, Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland

Joseph O'Connor
“How the prisoner and the immigrant are treated by the government, how the poor are treated and those without influence: this is secretly how the government would like to treat us all.”
Joseph O'Connor, Star of the Sea

Sergio Troncoso
“There is a certain pride in work and in your body throbbing beyond any boundaries you imagined you could endure. You identify with those who come home with pieces of pork fat wedged into their boots, with gashes on their arms and legs from their tools and machines, and with black grime etched into the folds of their dark skin.

Too often this country has turned its back on the working class and the working poor, not to mention the undocumented workers who harvest the food for American tables and build our houses.”
Sergio Troncoso

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