Define American

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Words Without Papers


As someone that has no recollection of where I come from, I use poetry as a way to piece together stories my grandmother speaks just so I can feel a sense of home. I, like many undocumented writers, use poetry to dream a world in which we are all free.  [...]

A Dream, Deferred Indefinitely


My grandmother carried me into this country at age of 3 in 1991. You can say I am American, I just don’t have the papers to prove it. My grandmother and I have been living in this country the same amount of years and yet somehow through the deliberate activism of young immigrant activists, I was granted the right to work lawfully and advance in my career. My grandmother wasn’t as lucky. [...]

When Art Imitates Life


In order for more people to understand what the undocumented experience is like, there needs to be more representation, particularly in the media. Armando Ibanez is doing his part to fix that. He is the director, producer and star of a new web series called Undocumented Tales. The show centers around a waiter named Fernando, who navigates Los Angeles as an undocumented and gay man.  [...]

Jose Antonio Vargas Explains DACA+/DAPA on The Kelly File


Kelly stated that “without borders, we don’t have a country.” “Absolutely a country has a right to define and defend its borders,” Vargas replied, and went on to recount that’s exactly why he chose to “out” himself as undocumented five years ago, asking the government what they wanted to do with him. So far, they have chosen to do nothing. Looking at the issue pragmatically, regardless of opinions on immigration, it makes sense to have undocumented immigrants who are already in the U.S. pay taxes and be able to work legally and contribute to the economy while Congress figures when (or if) it will ever address comprehensive immigration reform. [...]

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