Eileen Truax chronicles the DREAMers struggle for justice in Dreamers

Truax sheds light on the courage these undocumented students have, living their daily life afraid of getting deported.



Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation’s Fight for Their American Dream by Eileen Truax documents the stories of young undocumented immigrants who struggle to live their life as residents in the U.S. Truax gives us an inside look at the challenges these students face trying to reach better opportunities. In a country they call home, young dreamers cannot advance economically or educationally. For example, not being able to attend college or have a social security number to apply for jobs. “They have no access to a college education at a reasonable cost because they are considered foreigners….”

Truax sheds light on the courage these undocumented students have, living their daily life afraid of getting deported. Their stories are personal and powerful and will have you wanting more. She explains to the reader how the dreamers have pushed for having a legal immigration status since 2001, when Senator Richard Durbin proposed the Dream Act in Congress. Truax presents young brave dreamers, who one by one created a movement by telling their story that will help others just like them overcome the injustices they face for entering the country unwillingly.

Reading Dreamers was enjoyable and heartbreaking, it gave me a personal look inside the struggles and barriers these undocumented individuals lived each day, experiences that can have very dramatic consequences such as being deported or committing suicide. Each story is incredibly touching by the way Truax illustrates the harsh reality these young dreamers have had to overcome. These stories are powerful to read and make such a great impact for those who are not familiar with the struggles young undocumented students deal with.

The primary audience of the book is mainly Latinos and undocumented people. Latinos and undocumented individuals can relate to the book because chances are they either are or know someone who is undocumented. Also, this book can be informative to the general public about the struggle students have in order to get a college degree. Dreamers gives the reader a look inside undocumented students’ lives whose fear is to be taken away from everything they know. Truax documents these stories from an journalistic point of view. Truax is an outsider well aware of her surroundings and recognizes if her involvement gets too personal, it can compromise her credibility. She does a good job maintaining her role as a journalist who is there to document their story accurately but maintains sympathy for her subjects.

History is an important part of Dreamers because it shows the reader how these young people have lived with continuous hopes of one day becoming citizens. Truax gives historic examples that help understand movements that had led to a social justice change. For example, Truax mentions the famous Brown v. Board of Education case that stopped segregation between African Americans and Caucasian students in school. She also included the Mendez v. Westminster School case, which shines light to the segregation of Mexican and Mexican American children in public schooling. Both of these cases included in Dreamers are excellent resources to learn about the injustices minority students have faced trying to pursue a better future. In the book, Truax furthermore explains how the Dream Act was first introduced by Senator Richard Durbin in 2001, and since then different versions have been introduced.

In 2012 the Deferred Action executive order was issued, making it possible for a particular group of undocumented students to receive some type of legal status. It is important Truax writes how the Dream Act was aimed to protect and relief those who came to the U.S. without any say as children. In time a new law may be establish were Dreamers will play a vital role in explaining the struggles and oppression young undocumented individuals faced before there was any implemented law to protect them.

The main sources of information throughout the book are the undocumented students themselves. The reason why immigrants are the primary sources in Dreamers is because people like Mo, Nancy, and Viridiana have first-hand knowledge of what the everyday struggles are for an undocumented student. Each of them tell their own story, and Eileen interprets it. The information given in the book comes directly from the ones who have experienced being undocumented. This creates more of an impact for the reader. Also, other undocumented students will learn they are not alone and be able to relate to these stories. From this book, the reader can find other resources with more information about any immigration topic. If you were to pick up this book for the first time never knowing about a young undocumented student experience, it is a great first step in gaining some insights into this topic.

Dreamers is completely relevant today because there are 1.8 million young undocumented students. The book is important today because young dreamers as well as non dreamers need to be informed of the commitment and courage it takes to fight for the rights that everyone takes for granted. Undocumented students are oppressed by policies that prevent them having similar economic and educational opportunities in the U.S. as their citizen counterparts. Dreamers is an excellent way for people to learn about the injustices young individuals like these stood up against, and how these young people have been fighting for their American dream; a dream of one day attending a university and having a professional career they’ve always imagined, a dream were their hopes and passions can finally be fulfilled as citizens of their real country.

Tags:  book dreamers Eileen Truax Mirna Durón

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