Where Are You Really From?

Updated: 2021-06-10 23:45:42

Editor's note: On June 7, 2021, a Supreme Court ruling found that many TPS holders are ineligible to apply for permanent residency. This decision will affect César Magaña Linares, whose voice you'll hear in the podcast episode, along with an estimated 400,000 Temporary Protected Status holders.

How many times in your life have you been asked, "Where are you from?" If you're a person of color living in the United States, odds are that your answer is complex — it's not just about a place on a map, but also family, history, traditions, work, and how you express yourself.

That kind of complexity is what the new NPR audio and video series Where We Come From sets out to explore. Producer Anjuli Sastry brings us the stories of individuals from immigrant communities of color — whether they be first generation or the descendants of immigrants — one conversation at a time. In these episodes, individuals dig into their own personal histories, asking questions of family members, friends and experts.

On this episode, we hear from César Magaña Linares, a 23-year-old immigration activist and Temporary Protected Status holder. His life was upended in January 2018, when the Trump administration announced the end of TPS for Salvadoran immigrants like himself. He talks to his former college speech coach, Cameron Logsdon, about that pivotal time in his life, as well as Pomona College professor Arely Zimmerman about why it's so easy to burnout when your activism is also very personal.

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Immigration activist and temporary protected status holder César Magaña Linares poses for a portrait.

Immigration activist and temporary protected status holder César Magaña Linares poses for a portrait.

And stay tuned for more: On June 8, you'll be able to watch a full video interview with César. You can find more Where We Come From audio and video stories here on NPR.org.

Anjuli Sastry created and produced the Where We Come From series with additional editing and production by Julia Furlan and Diba Mohtasham. Video reporting, production, and editing by Michael Zamora. Fact checking and research by Candice Vo Kortkamp and Sarah Knight. Audio engineering by Josh Newell. Our director of programming is Yolanda Sangweni. Jess Kung produced the episode of Code Switch this story appeared on, and Leah Donnella edited it.

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