#MyImmigrationStory is a 500 Women Scientists campaign to bring our immigration and naturalization stories to the surface.

The U.S. at our best is a nation united by the radical idea that we are all created equal. We are descended from people of many races and nationalities -- our ancestors are Native people who have lived on this continent for thousands of years, our ancestors are descendants of slaves, and our ancestors are immigrants who came to the U.S. from other parts of the world. Many of us are immigrants ourselves. Given our nation’s history, vilifying immigration and targeting immigrants is not only hypocritical but also cynical fear-mongering.

In science, targeting immigrants is also self-defeating: it stifles scientific collaboration and our ability to make societal progress. Science is best when it is collaborative and draws upon the best ideas from all over the world, from immigrants and non-immigrants alike.

500 Women Scientists is taking a stand - we are women, we are immigrants, we are scientists. Hear our stories of immigration and share yours.

Maryam Zaringhalam

I am possible because of #ScienceWithoutBorders. My dad left Iran before the revolution to study physics in the states & my mom later came here to pursue medicine.

They met in America, fell in love in America, and had me & my brother in America. #MyImmigrationStory


Loren Sacket

My family came to the US from Ireland in the mid 1800s during the height of the Irish potato famine. The famine led to economic collapse in Ireland, and my family sought a better life in America. #MyImmigrationStory #meetascientist

Ukraine → US in 1990, we escaped an oppressive gov’t to find opportunity and freedom. Dad (PhD mathematician) stocked the corner store shelves at night, mom (engineer) worked in a cafeteria, and we were janitors to make ends meet. Over time, we made it. Our dream is #MyImmigrationStory #meetascientist

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Katarzyna Nowak

My family was granted #asylum in the US in the 1980s. Here’s a window into #MyImmigrationStory from long queues & strikes in #Poland to contributing to a free society & (bio-)diverse world in #USA & beyond https://theamericanscholar.org/bitter-fruits/ #meetascientist #PolishAmerican

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Amelia Meier

My mom immigrated to the US from France and struggled to find jobs that she could work odd hours and be home with us as kids. Her French influence is one of the things that enabled me to be a conservation biologist in Central Africa #MyImmigrationStory

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At age 15, my mother immigrated from Mexico to Texas with her mother, a working class woman. #MyImmigrationStory motivates me to stand up for #Dreamers and all immigrants https://sisterstem.org/2018/08/14/why-we-need-to-keep-fighting-for-dreamers-for-stems-sake/ #meetascientist

Paola Diaz

My parents migrated to NY in their teens, each alone w/ empty pockets, no English. I am the first generation born in the states, displaced of an experience of rural farming that belongs in my roots. Now, my work revolves around implementation of just and sustainable food systems.


Amy Hessl

Thank you Richard J Daley, Chicago Mayor & anti-Semite (Chicago 7) for signing my grandmother's birth certificate allowing her to re-immigrate Prague to US w/my infant dad in 1939 fleeing Nazis. Gave rise to 4 scientists in 2 generations with more than 10k citations between us. #MyImmigrationStory

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Lexi Moore Crisp

My family came to the US in the early 1900s from Hungary and Czechoslovakia. My grandfather worked in a coal mine and served in the US Navy to make sure his children would have a better life. #MyImmigrationStory #meetascientist


Tanya Dapkey

My g-parents fell in <3 & married in Germany in 1950, she was a US Army nurse, he was a former German Soldier. They had 4 children in the US and 56 years of marriage. #MyImmigrationStory @500womensci #meetascientist


Maria Palamar

I have lived in the United States for the last 12 years. I was born in Argentina, where I lived on and off due to my father’s work. I consider myself to be Argentinian, but I am also a US citizen and I have built my career in the US. I still have an accent when I speak English, but people confuse it with a European accent. The fact that I have fair skin, coupled with my science degrees and achievements, may add to the confusion. When I speak Spanish to people that look Latino, or that are speaking Spanish to each other, I get perplexed looks, sometimes they even ask me where I learned it. I’m not an American, but I sometimes wonder when will I stop being an Argentinian. Is there an expiration date? And if there is, who will I be then? Read all of Maria’s story here.

Join our social media campaign and share your immigration story, using the hashtag #MyImmigrationStory and #MeetAScientist. Send us videos or photos of yourself telling your story and tag us @500womensci on Twitter and Instagram! 

Twitter and Instagram instructions:

Tweet your 280 characters immigration story and/or post to Instagram using the hashtag #MyImmigrationStory; feel free to tag us @500womensci so we can curate all the stories and amplify/retweet


Post on the 500 Women Scientists Website:

You can also contribute your stories to share on the 500 Women Scientists campaign webpage and help elevate and celebrate our multicultural roots.


Link to resources for DACA, immigration rights, posts about separating children at the border, legal rights, and 500WS articles.

  • University of California at Berkeley's Undocumented Student Program has a host of useful resources for Dreamers, along with specifically tailored resources for California residents seeking legal or financial aid.
  • United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led community in the country dedicated to fostering agency in people to develop their leadership and organizing skills to develop their own campaigns to fight for justice and dignity for immigrants and all people. Their site hosts useful resources, including details on your rights as well as a mental health toolkit.
  • The Seattle Pod wrote an op-ed in Scientific American about how Childhood Should Be Sacred in response to damaging policies like family separation.