We are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

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Stylus Publishing, LLC., 2009 - Education - 161 pages
4 Reviews
Winner of the CEP Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship

About 2.4 million children and young adults under 24 years of age are undocumented. Brought by their parents to the US as minors--many before they had reached their teens--they account for about one-sixth of the total undocumented population. Illegal through no fault of their own, some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from the nation's high schools each year. They cannot get a legal job, and face enormous barriers trying to enter college to better themselves--and yet America is the only country they know and, for many, English is the only language they speak.

What future do they have? Why are we not capitalizing, as a nation, on this pool of talent that has so much to contribute? What should we be doing?

Through the inspiring stories of 16 students--from seniors in high school to graduate students--William Perez gives voice to the estimated 2.4 million undocumented students in the United States, and draws attention to their plight. These stories reveal how--despite financial hardship, the unpredictability of living with the daily threat of deportation, restrictions of all sorts, and often in the face of discrimination by their teachers--so many are not just persisting in the American educational system, but achieving academically, and moreover often participating in service to their local communities. Perez reveals what drives these young people, and the visions they have for contributing to the country they call home.

Through these stories, this book draws attention to these students' predicament, to stimulate the debate about putting right a wrong not of their making, and to motivate more people to call for legislation, like the stalled Dream Act, that would offer undocumented students who participate in the economy and civil life a path to citizenship.

Perez goes beyond this to discuss the social and policy issues of immigration reform. He dispels myths about illegal immigrants' supposed drain on state and federal resources, providing authoritative evidence to the contrary. He cogently makes the case--on economic, social, and constitutional and moral grounds--for more flexible policies towards undocumented immigrants. If today's immigrants, like those of past generations, are a positive force for our society, how much truer is that where undocumented students are concerned?
  

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Review: We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

User Review  - Marcela Paz - Goodreads

Good, is sad but this is real, so is not like I would say, it is a very good fiction book, no. so if you want to read about what many people goes through to live here, go ahead read it and learn too . Read full review

Review: We Are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

User Review  - Book Concierge - Goodreads

2.5** Perez is a professor of education and an applied developmental psychologist. Here he turns his attention to teens and young adults whose path to being productive citizens is hampered (or ... Read full review

Contents

1 PENELOPE
3
2 JAIME
11
3 JERONIMO
19
4 LILIA
25
PART TWO Community CollegeStudents
31
5 DANIELLA
33
6 ISABEL
39
7 LUCILA
45
PART FOUR College Graduates
83
13 LUCIA
85
14 MICHAEL
93
15 JULIETA
99
16 ALBA
107
PART FIVE Formerly UndocumentedCollege Graduates
113
17 JESSICA
115
18 JULIA
123

8 PAULINA
51
PART THREE University Students
57
9 ANGELICA
59
10 SASHA
63
11 EDUARDO
71
12 RAUL
77
19 IGNACIO
131
20 NICOLE
141
CONCLUSION
147
Reading Group Guide
157
INDEX
159
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

William Perez is Professor of Education at Claremont Graduate University and an applied developmental psychologist. His research focuses on immigrant adolescent social development. Before joining CGU, he worked at various research institutes including the RAND Corporation, the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, and the Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research.

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