We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults

by Susan Kuklin

Nine young adults with undocumented immigrant status in the United States share their... read more

Nine young adults with undocumented immigrant status in the United States share their individual, complex stories about how and why they came to this country, and their experiences since arriving. Each has made the decision to speak out, courageous activism as they both live in and emerge from “the shadows” to share their stories and dreams. They came originally from Colombia, Ghana, Independent Samoa, Mexico, and South Korea as children or young teens, usually with their parents, in one case because of trafficking. Originally slated for publication in 2017, this book was intentionally delayed after presidential action put the status of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in limbo. Changes were made to protect the young people’s identities, which are now indicated only by first initial and a dash (e.g. Y—), while Kuklin’s photographs of her subjects were eliminated—only empty frames remain. Each dash and empty frame is a sobering reminder that visibility is a risk for these young people, who deserve to be seen. End matter includes notes about each interview and resources. Kuklin writes, “These individuals remind me again and again that the American dream is worth fighting for—and that the American dream is worth sharing.” (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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