Sheena Koshy | The Myth of Legal Immigration

Sheena Koshy immigrated legally to this country in 2001, but obtaining her U.S. citizenship was a journey that took 15 years and four visas to complete. Despite her absolute and rigid observance of the rules, Sheena’s path to citizenship was incredibly expensive, tediously long, and bloated with bureaucracy. As a result, she is passionately committed to dispelling the myth that our nation’s immigration problems would be solved if only everybody would immigrate legally. The legalization process, argues Sheena, is mired in complications and desperately needs a compassionate overhaul.

Sheena Koshy has never voted. That’s because she’s only ever spent eight years of her life in the country of her citizenship. Born in India, she left at the age of two for Bahrain, a small island in the Middle East, where she had her first DQ ice-cream, learned to love alphabets thanks to Sesame Street and ate a lot of shawarmas. She spent her middle school in Abu Dhabi, high school Dubai, her undergraduate in India and moved to the United States for university in 2001. She recently became a citizen in May of this year and is excited to vote in her very first elections.Sheena talks about the ‘Myth of the Legal Immigrant’, a narrative she is very familiar with, having spent the past 15 years trying to become a US citizen. She hopes her talk will help shed light on the difficult process of legal immigration and how imperative it is that it be compassionately rehauled.Her day job involves helping organizations find their niche, seek their community and connect the two by telling their stories. Her career has centered on leveraging the unique ways in which brands can engage digitally in this connected world we live in today. Her volunteer efforts include being on the board of directors for Access Health Africa, a non-profit improving access to quality health services, education & resources in Malawi. She can be found on twitter @sheenakoshyc.