Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream

Eileen Truax, trans. from the Spanish by Diane Stockwell. Beacon, $15 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8070-3033-2
“To let the Dreamers speak for themselves” is the goal veteran journalist Truax sets for herself in this account of 10 undocumented young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. She puts a human face on the debate around the proposed DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act. To this end, Truax recounts both the empowerment of activism and traumatic events, including a precipitous deportation and a suicide. Political figures whose actions or inactions affect the lives of the “Dreamers” appear as well: President Obama, often referred to as “Deporter in Chief”; Sheriff Joseph Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., known for draconian enforcement of immigration laws; Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, who’s introduced several versions of the DREAM Act since 2001; and Mohammad Abdollahi, who leads the DREAM Activist Undocumented Students Action and Resource Network. Truax succeeds in conveying how a shadow status permeates the lives of all the young people profiled here, with education, employment opportunities, and essential social services severely limited or unavailable. At its core, Truax’s book is a severe reproach to U.S. immigration law; the appendix, a précis of the 2011 DREAM Act, illustrates the succor it would bring to some but how problematic the policy is for many others. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014
Release date: 03/10/2015
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-607-8303-13-7
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