California here I come: Oral histories and tales of arrival in Pop Up Archive

A radio history of California immigration

Listen to firsthand accounts of arrival, detention and otherness. We gather audio from the collections of four great California radio stations — KALW, KCRW, KQED, and KPFA — to hear about the Chinese poems on Angel island detention center walls, the internment of the Japanese, the battle for San Francisco’s International Hotel and the drama of being undocumented.


Angel Island Historic Treasure Restored (KALW)

Through the years, more than one million immigrants from 80 countries entered the US through the Immigration Station on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.


Japanese in California (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Listen to this verbal montage from 1959 of experiences of Japanese Americans, including detention and internment.


Remembering the International Hotel Evictions (KALW)
Hear the story of San Francisco’s International Hotel and how the evictions of immigrant laborers from Manilatown rooming houses in 1977 galvanized the city’s tenants rights movement.


Waking up from the American Dream (KALW)
Hear stories about young immigrants, gathered by Mills College students in two installments: one and two.


Is immigration on the decline? (KCRW)
The decades-long rush of foreigners to California may be on the decline.


The immigration landscape, 20 years after Prop 187 (KQED)
In 1994, California voters approved Proposition 187 to withhold public education and health services from the undocumented. The measure was ruled unconstitutional and never enacted, but it had a lasting impact on California politics and the immigration debate.


Inside Richmond’s Immigration Detention Center (KALW)
A monthly vigil in front of the West County Detention Facility in Richmond protests the detention of migrants and asylum seekers inside.