cover image We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

William Perez / Author, Daniel G. Solorzano / Foreword by Styl

Perez, a developmental psychologist and professor in Southern California, plumbs the stories of students living with the constant threat of deportation for an answer to the question, ""What does it mean to be an American?"" Raised in this country by parents who gained access illegally, the 16 high school, college and post-graduate students profiled here (standing in for 65,000 nationwide) have each embraced our language, culture and collective dream, but are denied pathways to success. Perez, who has worked at a variety of research institutions, including the RAND Corporation and the Standford Institute for Higher Education Research, makes a compelling argument for changing legislation on many fronts, including bottom line economics. Vitally, he argues, undocumented students are prevented from giving back to the communities that have raised them, thus limiting the country itself. No matter what one's position is on legalizing immigrants, this collection of inspiring, heartbreaking stories puts a number of unforgettable faces to the issue, making it impossible to defend any one side in easy terms or generalities.