The #ImmiGrad Hashtag Is a Testament to the Sacrifices Immigrant Parents Make for Their Children

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Read more

At a time when the Trump Administration has vilified immigrants, it’s become necessary for this community to take control of its own narrative. And with graduation season fully upon us, Define American – a non-profit media and culture organization – and UndocuMedia have launched the #ImmiGrad hashtag to give immigrants and the children of immigrants a platform to break down harmful stereotypes and to celebrate their accomplishments.

“Graduation is an important day for everyone, but for many children of immigrants, it is the very reason they are in this country,” according to Define American. “We want to celebrate all immigrant graduates and their families and recognize them for achieving this milestone.”

As a result of #ImmiGrad, we have moving accounts of what it’s like to navigate college as an immigrant and about the sacrifices of immigrant parents. Check out 12 of the most heartwarming #ImmiGrad messages below:


"All parents want is for their children to have a better future, regardless of what they have to sacrifice."


"She left her career and else behind, so that I could have a better future in this country."

View this post on Instagram

In the year 1996 my mother and I came to the United States. She left her career and all else behind so that I could have a better future in this country. From Pre-K to 12th grade I was always aware that I had to go above and beyond in my studies because my status would be an added obstacle in my life. Getting to college was hard. There was nobody to guide me and I didnt know what to expect. Once I got to college things did not get easier. Racism, injustice and society itself worked against me and many others around me. But despite all the obstacles I am eternally grateful for my education and for all that I learned. Im not taking about difficult math equations or answers to scientific questions. I am thankful for learning how to be patient, for learning to understand things and people I didn't understand before. I am also thankful for those who supported me in one way or another. I made her dream come true. Im not here to make anyone feel a certain way. I write this so all who see my post know that anything is possible. My mother always told me anything was possible so long as I was patient and dedicated. It is true. However, the struggle is not over. Things will be difficult still but I know that I will get through anything. Shoutout to my mom.. And to my best friend William for the constant love and support. Wish you were here baby but I know itll all be worth it when you come back home 🇺🇸

A post shared by Liliana R (@flowersforlily) on


"The sacrifices that you and mom [made have] paid off."


"I owe everything to these two individuals who I have the privilege to call my parents."


"I am a product of their hard work, of their sacrifices, and endless love."


"I defied the stereotype."


"I am proud of my immigrant family and this success is for them."


"I am a first-generation Guatemalan immigrant who has gotten to where I am thanks to the struggles and strife my parents put themselves through."

View this post on Instagram

At this time tomorrow, I will officially be graduating from Cal State Northridge, aka CSUN. It is a surreal feeling to look back at the last four years of being an undergrad student to suddenly see that ahead of me lies the rest of my life. Four years of challenges, success, failure, new opportunities, growth, awareness, and most of all, newly cherished and unforgettable people that have marked my life in so many ways. Words don't even begin to describe the honor and gratitude I have to so many of you as friends, colleagues, mentors, and support systems. I feel so incredibly proud to say that I am a first-generation Guatemalan immigrant who has gotten to where I am thanks to the struggles and strife my parents put themselves through to give my siblings and I the opportunities they were not privileged enough to receive. I also would not have been where I am today without having completed the role of a Resident Advisor. As much as I complained about wearing the red bag and answering the flip phone in the tasks of the dreaded duty nights, I would not be pursuing a career in Student Affairs were it not for that very same job. Thank you to all those that have touched my life in one way or another. You've all left an impact on me I will carry wherever I go in life. Soy Latino, soy inmigrante, soy chapín, y esto es por mi familia, mis padres, y mi tierra. 🇬🇹 HUGE THANKS to @kritzerbabe for these amazing pictures! #ArribaYoMisApasYLaChona #LatinxsRising #OrgulloChapin #firstgen #immigrad #NextStopGradSchool #NortheasternBound

A post shared by Alberto (@patojxchapin) on


"This is for my parents, who struggles to make ends meet so they made and sold burritos to pay the bills."


"Mindset, desire, dedication, and hard work."



"I also remember all of those who cheered me on."


"Gracias por sus consejos and for making something out of nothing."


"They've made so many sacrifices for me and my 5 brothers and sisters."


"Family always comes first."


"She's spend her days working to make sure I received an adequate education and adequate lifestyle."