6 episodes

All My Friends Are Immigrants is a collection of interviews and stories about what it was like to live as an immigrant in a new place or grow up with immigrant parents.


I want to get to know my friends again, purely through the lens of migration to see where our experiences overlap and what it was like to live in a place with a culture and norms that were different from those of their parents.

All My Friends Are Immigrants Michael Fil

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

All My Friends Are Immigrants is a collection of interviews and stories about what it was like to live as an immigrant in a new place or grow up with immigrant parents.


I want to get to know my friends again, purely through the lens of migration to see where our experiences overlap and what it was like to live in a place with a culture and norms that were different from those of their parents.

    A Golden Cage: Isabel Navigates Asylum in New York

    A Golden Cage: Isabel Navigates Asylum in New York

    My guest today is Isabel Mejia and this episode is a bit different. For the first time, I gave my guest a preview of parts of the episode with the final right of refusal on what is being published.

    Look, I’m not a journalist, so I don’t necessarily have to subscribe to a set of journalistic ethics if I want this show to be nothing more than entertaining. But as I mentioned on a previous episode, I feel that I owe my guests a few things.

    I owe it to them to be informed and to not misrepresent or decontextualize what they are telling me. Immigrant stories are personal. The information that I’m given is often sensitive. And each situation is unique.

    I felt as if Isabel needed more room to have a say in the final product because she has lived in New York City for five years as an Asylee with a pending asylum application before the US government.

    I talked to Isabel about her experiences moving to the US, applying for Asylum, being apart from her husband (something that my spouse and I also went through in our immigration process), and finding community in New York.

    This episode will also help raise money for the City Bar Justice Center in New York City.

    The City Bar Justice Center and its Immigrant Justice Project assists asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries, survivors of violent crimes and trafficking here in the United States, and individuals seeking humanitarian protection and other forms of relief. The project helps immigrants by matching them with pro bono attorneys, provides representation before USCIS and the Executive Office for Immigration Review and other free legal services.

    I'll be donating $1 for every play that this episode receives between today and November 3, 2020, up to $500 plus all ad revenue from every episode of All My Friends Are Immigrants.

    Please share this episode with your friends and families to help get me to my goal. If you want to support the City Bar Justice Center directly, you can donate on their website at www.citybarjusticecenter.org/donate.


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    • 56 min
    The True Me: The Many Layers of Nakita Austin

    The True Me: The Many Layers of Nakita Austin

    This is a big one!

    My guest on the fourth episode of All My Friends Are Immigrants is a former colleague and current friend, Nakita Austin.

    Nakita was born in New York to immigrant parents, one from Haiti and the other from the Philippines. From there, she moved to the South of the US, a move that could be considered immigration for the stark difference in cultures alone, and eventually made her way to her current home in London, UK.

    I talked to Nakita about her experiences in both worlds as a Black woman and child of immigrants, how this affects her at work and in her travels, and the life she plans to give to her daughter.

    Before our conversation, I spend a bit of time talking about my own immigration experience, procedurally and remind everyone that the upcoming US election is, in many ways, important to the millions of immigrants who call the country their home, along with their families who feel like they are a world away.


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    • 1 hr 10 min
    A Little Surprise: Gleb's Five-Time Immigration Journey

    A Little Surprise: Gleb's Five-Time Immigration Journey

    I've known Gleb since freshman year of high school. That's nearly 20 years for those doing the math (something we were never very good at).

    Like me, Gleb immigrated to Canada from a former Soviet nation. In my case, it was Russia, and in his, it was Kazakhstan.

    By the time Gleb arrived in Toronto, I had already become a fully-fledged "Canadian;" he even described me as his Canadian friend, which is a perspective I never even considered. After all, in my mind, I'm a Russian immigrant. Canadians are the other people who lived around me.

    I talked to Gleb about his experiences moving to Canada as a teen and then picking up and moving several more times. Whether for school and work, or love and family, Gleb was never a one-directional migrant.

    Listen to him tell his story, in his own words.


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Caleb Holds Onto His Heritage: A Second Generation Story

    Caleb Holds Onto His Heritage: A Second Generation Story

    Today just so happens to be Mexico’s Independence Day. It’s either a coincidence or perhaps serendipity that my guest today is a gentleman of Mexican descent, Caleb Williams.

    Caleb and I are former colleagues and our paths crossed only a handful of times. Once when we were both in New York City and another time when we were both in Bengaluru, India, for a hackathon event which, if I recall correctly, he actually won.

    Caleb is not an immigrant, but he is part of the immigrant story.  Since his childhood, Caleb has been grappling with what his heritage means to him, how he stays connected to it, and how he will pass it on to his kids who are now three generations removed from his family's story of immigration.

    I’ll let you listen to him tell his story in his own words.


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    • 1 hr 2 min
    How Charlie Became Charlie (From South Korea and Back Again)

    How Charlie Became Charlie (From South Korea and Back Again)

    I met Charlie while we were both living and working in South Korea. For an entire year, we navigated the country’s culture and values together, but in different ways. Charlie was born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States when he was little. I spoke to him about changing his name, growing up Korean in the US, how he felt going back, and it means for him to straddle east and west.


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    • 1 hr 17 min
    All My Friends Are Immigrants Podcast Trailer

    All My Friends Are Immigrants Podcast Trailer

    It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized, nearly all of my friends were immigrants or the children of immigrants. I wanted to get to know them again purely through the lens of migration to see where our similarities are and how we see ourselves in a world that is grappling with the idea of borders and immigration.



    This trailer introduces you to my first five guests: Charlie Lim, Lex Flores, Yama Rongomas, Sabine Tait, and Gleb Nam.



    Each one of my guests has a special story to tell, whether they arrived somewhere new as kids, made the choice to relocate as adults, or grew up in a household where they were the first ones to be born in a new land.



    You can learn more about my guests and this limited series at www.michaelfil.com/podcast. Follow me on Instagram for previews and behind-the-scenes clips of All My Friends Are Immigrants at @michaelfil.


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    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Luis Feliciano ,

Captivating

Michael and his guest create a very captivating story of what is to be an immigrant. I could relate so much to Caleb’s story on the second episode as a white-passing latino. Really looking forward to future episodes. And if your are looking to learn more about immigrant experiences, especially on these times that we are more focused in on diversity and inclusion, this is a listen.

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