Undocumented, Unafraid and Unapologetic: Development of Inclusive Activism in the Immigrant Youth Movement

Gabriela Monico : Ethnic Studies

Mentor: Professor Lisa Garcia Bedolla

An estimated 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants live in the U.S. 2.1 million youth may attempt to legalize through the DREAM Act, if enacted. An activist movement led by eligible youth has mobilized around this legislation, which has given rise to a narrative that casts eligible youth as deserving, “othering” the 67% that would not qualify. Through interviews and participant observation of two support groups, Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education and 67 Sueños, Gabriela will explore how the DREAM Act narrative has triggered a divergent process of oppositional consciousness among ineligible youth and how new sites of activism are created in the process. Her work will provide insight into a struggle that seeks to humanize immigrants and challenges mainstream notions of who should have access to opportunities in American society.