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July 13, 2015
REVIEW: DREAMERS: An Immigrant Generation's Fight for Their American Dream by Eileen Truax
If the DREAM ACT is
passed in the next few months, I have a future.If it's not, I'm going to have to fight for my future. --Elioenai
I talked with some people
on the senator's staff, and I realized how disconnected politics are from our
lives. I understood that the change that we need has to come from the people
most affected by an immigration system that is broken.Our voices and our stories have to become our
tools to combat this oppressive system. --Carlos Amador, Dreamer and
co-president of United We Dream
Eileen Truax has taken
one of the most important and hottest themes of this generation -- immigration reform
-- and given it a face, actually faces.Like
Nancy who worked for the government in California and one day on her way to
work got pulled over and deported to Mexico, where she knew no one and only had
$40 to her name. Daniella with "Dream" written on her sneakers taking
part in a civil disobedience sit-down in Phoenix with a wall of cops towering
over her.And, Joaquin who died as his
dream of being a successful architect died.
DREAMERS (Beacon Press) is
an emotional, passionate and informative book.It's not about statistics or policies; this book is about 10 young
adults and how they are fighting for a future in the only home they've ever
known -- America.
Eileen asks everyone who
reads her book to keep an open mind.Yes,
six out of ten of the Dreamers are Mexican, but they are certainly not the
rapists and gangsters that scare Donald Trump.These are promising young "Americans," who for lack of
government recognition and a social security number find it difficult to go to
university and get a decent job.
But these Dreamers are no
longer standing still.They are
educated, organized and determined to be heard and to affect change.They are “Undocumented, Unapologetic, and
Unafraid."And, thanks to social media, their
experiences, frustrations, and successes are well publicized and documented. Also,
thanks to social media, the Dreamers are uniting nationwide and as they become
stronger, the government is going to have to respond.Let's just hope that it's sooner rather than
SUMMARY:DREAMERS is a movement book
for the generation brought to the United States as children—and now fighting to
live here legally.Of the approximately twelve million
undocumented immigrants living in the United States, as many as two million
came as children. They grow up here, going to elementary, middle, and high
school, and then the country they call home won’t—in most states—offer
financial aid for college and they’re unable to be legally employed. In 2001,
US senator Dick Durbin introduced the DREAM Act to Congress, an initiative that
would allow these young people to become legal residents if they met certain
requirements. And now, more than ten years later, in the face of congressional
inertia and furious opposition from some, the DREAM Act has yet to be passed.
But recently, this young generation has begun organizing, and with their
rallying cry “Undocumented, Unapologetic, and Unafraid” they are the newest
face of the human rights movement. In DREAMERS,
Eileen Truax illuminates the stories of these men and women who are living
proof of a complex and sometimes hidden political reality that calls into
question what it truly means to be American.###
NOTE:This book is also available in Spanish.
THE AUTHOR:Originally from Mexico,
Eileen Truax is a journalist and immigrant currently living in Los
Angeles.She contributes regularly to
Hoy Los Angeles and Unidos, and writes for Latin American publications
including Proceso, El Universal, and Gatopardo.Eileen often speaks at colleges and universities about the Dreamer
movement and immigration. Visit her Spanish blog by clicking here.