The movement behind the DREAM Act gives many young people hope that one day they will have a chance to come out of the shadows. They hope to contribute to American society as well as receive the full freedom that comes with being a citizen. Because my parents are immigrants themselves and so many of my friends are as well, immigration became the theme for my thesis project in the University of Miami’s Multimedia Journalism Master’s Program.
As a kid, I used to hate doing house chores like cleaning up my room and would usually try to whine my way out of it. My father would tell me (in Portuguese), “Oh you don’t want to? Then get an education and work hard, then you can hire a maid. But until then, go clean your room.”
My parents, who arrived in Miami from Brazil in the 1980’s, taught me that we were here because our dreams could come true. And for a while, I really believed hard work was all it took until I got to college. That’s when I realized many of my friends couldn’t register for school or apply for financial aid or even just get a driver’s license.
So I produced a three-part video series published on Vimeo that looks into what the DREAM Act is and how it could change lives.
Only the DREAM Act can restore hope for undocumented youth: An interview with Immigration Lawyer Tristan Bourgoignie
Achieving a higher education against all odds: Young, Peruvian Jimena Alvarado struggles to attend and pay for college because of her status
How colleges and the US would benefit from the DREAM Act