Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Johanna Saldana          

Mentor: Kenneth Sacks

Title: Immigration: A Chance to Pursue Happiness


My passion for immigration studies has grown throughout the years, especially because of a personal incident that I went through last year. I wanted to present my interest about immigration to the public and to raise awareness as this is a huge issue here in the United States. I decided that I wanted to write articles that would get published in local newspapers. OLA (Organizacion Latino Americana) is the only active Hispanic Organization out here on the East End. I talked to Isabel Sepulveda, the head of OLA, about my personal situation; I always told her that I wanted to do my Senior Project on Immigration and right away she offered me a column in La Voz, a Hispanic newspaper for the Hamptons, which I accepted gratefully. I am also focusing on the before and after effect that September 11 played on immigration policies. Besides writing immigration articles for La Voz, I also submitted my final article to the East Hampton Star and other local newspapers.



Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4


First I would like to start with a quote from our President Obama, ŅThe Time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.Ó My senior project is based on Immigration because of a personal experience back in 2008. IÕll give you a little background of myself, so you can understand my project. I was brought to New York when I was 6 years old, both my parents had come before me and had decided that it was better for me to come here and get an education. The years passed and my father decided he wanted to become a citizen here, so in 1999 we hired an immigration lawyer so that our status could get adjusted. Everything was going as planned until the tragic incident of the 9-11 which caused many changes in the immigration policies. My father was steps away from getting his status adjust but his boss backed off and denied my father his signature. After 4 years of waiting, we had to start all over again with another lawyer and different boss. Everything seemed to be going well, until last March when I decided to take a trip with Ross to the Virgin Islands, however when trying to come back into the states, I was arrested and given a Notice of Appeal. I am now facing deportation and have my own lawyer representing me and asking for a relief. My family has also found out that our 2nd lawyer was a fraud and now we have to start all over once again. ThatÕs a quick background about myself and the reason why I choose to do my project on Immigration. How to begin my project was a challenge cause I wanted to do so many things that I couldnÕt decided, I went to make pamphlets but then I realized that there were already so many pamphlets on immigrations. Then I thought of creating a website, but I couldnÕt cause I donÕt have a lawyer degree. I wanted to host an event but what would I get out of it? Till I finally decided to write a serious of articles that a bilingual newspaper out here called La Voz would publish and have a final article for the East Hampton Press to publish it. My Organization and Goals where important, because I had to choose the topics I wanted to writing about like racism, policies, lawyers, dreams, awareness, hate crimes. But I also had to be aware who was going to be my audience. I had to be very organized because I had many different deadlines like doing the research before I could start writing and then have my articles edited by sacks and 2 outside editors and then translating. My goals where also very important, I wanted to understand immigrationÕs history and the trends it had. I also wanted to learned about the policies and how they are changing, but my main goal was voicing the immigrant community and informing the mass. I ended up writing 4 articles all based around the idea of the American Dream. The 1st article was called American Dream Dead or Alive, based on the American Dream and the fundamental ideals that form this country. 2nd article called Marcelo Lucero based on the increase of hate crimes on the Latino Community. 3rd article called Racism in Soccer, based on racism within ones own culture. My 4th final article called Immigration: A chance to Pursue Happiness based on immigration policies from the start of immigration to now. The major challenges I faced was beginning the project cause I didnÕt know what I was going to do till like a month later, and then I had to understand journalism and learn about immigration history and the policies that are changing and trying to change immigration policies. The discoveries I learned through this project was learning about immigration and the past and present of policies. I discovered my love for journalism and writing and discovered myself as a learner that doesnÕt like to give up when things get hard. The skills and knowledge acquired from this project was being able to be a journalist and get all my research done so I can be accurate when trying to write and I got a knowledge on immigration policies. The personal significance of this project is because I am an immigrant and I wanted to do something about the immigrant community. What I plan to do in the furture is work with OLA and OLA YG by helping with the Immigration Panel, January 29th with Congressman Bishop, Luis Valenzuela From Long Island Immigrant Alliance and 2 immigration lawyer who will answered questions that concerned the Latino community out here. I have also founded OLA Younger Generation with three of my friends as an organization for youth out in the east end to unify and help the community. I would like to give special thanks to my mentor, Kenneth Sacks, outside mentors: Raquel Milstein, Isabel Sepulveda. My outside editors Kezia Caprenter and Flavio Espinoza. Devon Parks for all the help my family and friends for their support and the Ross School for giving me the opportunity for doing this project. And I would like to end with the quote from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, ŅRemember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from Immigrants and revolutionists.Ó

Works Cited

Carpenter, Kezia. "The Methods of Interviewing." Telephone interview. 2 Nov. 2008.

"Changes in Immigration Policy can Spur Economic Growth." The Entrepreneurial Mind. 2007. Belmont University. 21 Dec. 2008 <>.

Clarke, Millicent. "Immigration Policies." Personal interview. 15 Nov. 2008.

Francisco, Luis. "Immigrant." Personal interview. 17 Nov. 2008.

Garcia, Carmen. "Immigrant." Personal interview. 17 Nov. 2008.

Hanson, Gordon H. "Immigration Policy." Immigration Policy. July 2004. Nov. & Dec. 2008 <>.

Immigration and Asylum Present 1900 to the Present. Vol. 2. Santa Barbara, California: ABC CLIO, 2005.

"Immigration and Immigrant Policy." Immigration Policies Issues Overview. 2009. National Conference of State Legislatures. Nov. & Dec. 2008 <>.

"Immigration New Daily." Immigration New Daily. Nov. & Dec. 2008 <>.

"Latest US Immigration Policy." Immigration News: Changes in Immigration that Impact your life. 2009. Dec. 2008 <>.

Milstein, Rakhel. "Immigration Policies." Personal interview. 20 Dec. 2008.

Community Member (Details)

Millicent Clarke Š Immigration Lawyer

Rakhel Milstein Š Immigration Lawyer

Kezia Carpenter Š Teacher/Editor