Dr. Oz Among Those Sharing Stories of Immigration in New Book
"Journeys" is a collection of stories from immigrants themselves.
If the Statue of Liberty is the official greeter of America, the Emma Lazarus poem "The New Colossus" is her welcome song, asking for the tired, the poor, the huddled masses who are yearning to be free.
Businessman Andrew Tisch and colleague Mary Skafidas have collected some of those immigrant stories in a new book called "Journeys: An American Story."
The Tisch family runs a multi-billion-dollar empire, but their grandfather arrived from Ukraine with big dreams and not much else.
“We are all immigrants," Andrew Tisch told Inside Edition. "This is a country built by immigrants."
He said his family left Ukraine with "a lot of hopes" for America.
“We all start at the same place," Skafidas said. "And there's no country on earth where you can arrive with nothing and reach the highest levels of society."
One of the contributors to the book is TV's Dr. Oz.
"This is a very important time for people who have come from other countries who should say proudly, ‘I came here because I want to be American! I came here because I had America's values even though I wasn't in America,'" he told Inside Edition.
The parents of Dr. Oz gazed upon the Statue of Liberty when they emigrated from Turkey before he was born. Their story in "Journeys" concerns the kindness of their new neighbors.
“Mr. Slowbody had a welcoming party for my mom, just to make her feel like she could live in Cleveland," he said. "Mrs. Slowbody, who had kids of her own, mentored my mom about breastfeeding, diaper rash and how to deal with a crying kid."
The sight of the Statue of Liberty had an impact on the family members of another familiar face.
“My great grandma saw Lady Liberty when she came in on Ellis Island, and for her, it meant everything,” said Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville.
The story of Norville's family is also included in the book.
Abeer Alkhafajee is one of America’s new wave of immigrants. Her family became a target of terrorists because she worked as a translator for U.S. forces in Iraq.
"We got a letter that was written in blood, it was left by our doorstep, we literally left with the clothes we have on and the little things we can collect," she said.
Marine captain Zach Iscol knew the Alkhafajee family when he served in Iraq.
“There was a severed dog left on their doorstep with this note saying that 'you'll be next,'" he recalled.
Thus began a new mission for Iscol, now out of uniform and back stateside, to bring this brave family to America.
The woman who helped soldiers in her native country is now helping New Yorkers in her new hometown as a member of the NYPD.
Last year she helped kick off the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.
“If it wasn’t for Zach, I don’t think it would have been possible for us to come to the U.S.," she said.
“I’m the one that needs to say thank you,” he added. "I came home because of them. If there's anyone who has a debt of gratitude it’s us, it's not their family."
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