Los Otros Dreamers (The Other Dreamers), by Jill Anderson and Nin Solis, is a book that features the experiences, dreams, challenges, achievements (and much more) of undocumented youth who grew up in the United States and have either been deported, or have made the difficult decision to return, to their countries of birth.
Their stories speak volumes about the effects of U.S. immigration policies on the lives of young adults growing up undocumented. The young adults who share their stories talk about their fears, agency, resistance, hopes, and more.This book is definitely one of a kind. Currently, the literature on immigration leaves largely unexplored the experiences of young adults who grow up in the U.S. and are at one point forced to return to Mexico. The stories featured in this book have stayed with me.
Here’s an excerpt from Valeria’s story, a young woman who was born in Mexico, DF and grew up in Florida.
In 2007, she was apprehended by immigration officers while on a bus (she was en route to a Ricky Martin concert when officers got on the bus and began to ask people for their papers). Valeria was apprehended, detained in Florida, transferred to a detention center in Texas, and ultimately deported to Mexico: “I said, “I’m going to sign the voluntary return, but I need to know when I leave and where I will be dropped off.” He told me that it would be on Wednesday in Nuevo Laredo. It was traumatic. It was crazy. [And it wasn’t on Wednesday. It was before.] All these men were yelling. They said, “You’ll see what I’m going to do to you once we get off the bus.” I had nightmares for I don’t know how long. One of the ICE officers told us two girls, “I’ll give you five minutes. You can run.” As soon as we got off the bus, we ran. It was less than a minute or two minutes that I ran, but it was the longest time I have ever had to run. It was in the middle of the night. We ran across the bridge. I didn’t look back”
To purchase a copy of the book, you can do so via Amazon Los Otros Dreamers. Please note that all proceeds support returning and deported youth in Mexico.
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