Educate Yourself: on DACA and the DREAM act

In my younger days I *tried* to help efforts to pass initiatives that would benefit undocumented immigrants and people of color. In my time I learned that the best efforts to organize the undocumented community came from directly affected people themselves. However, many non-profits and well-meaning activists who are paid for their work tend not to be undocumented or directly affected by the issues at hand.

Many journalists who cover the issue and make a career out of this also tend not to be directly affected by laws that monitor immigration in the US. A lot of articled then end up sounding like texts from a statistics textbook, or fail to capture the authenticity of the quest for undocumented immigrants to lead dignified lives. In an effort to help my many friends who are still involved, here’s a list of links I found that are written by those who are directly affected.

The criteria I used for including these links was very simple:

  1. The story had to be written by the person without coaxing from anyone else. Some people already had blogs that are only known by people involved in the undocumented immigrant’s rights movement.
  2. The work created is by someone who is undocumented, has DACA/TPS/U Visa, or is otherwise directly affected by the immigration debate as of today.

So go on and educate yourself by people who were kind enough to do so for free even though they absolutely didn’t have to do it for your benefit. Also, this list isn’t all-inclusive and will be updated periodically.


EscuchándonosThis Spanish-language podcasts is by and for immigrants living in the state of Arkansas. It consists of conversations led by the host, Mel Beltrán, who also produces it and compiles interviews of locals who are willing to talk about what it’s like to be undocumented in the state. You can follow Mel on Twitter: @tinskanix


Undocumented and AwkwardDid you know there was a web series produced that discussed what it’s like to be undocumented before a bunch of celebrities jumped on the bandwagon to support them? Produced by Dreamers Adrift, who are responsible for a variety of other works by immigrants of al backgrounds, it discusses awkward moments undocumented immigrants experience that allies probably never go through.


My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant by Jose Antonio Vargas was written in 2011, but the story told is relevant today. It’s still a great read for anyone who thinks they don’t know someone who is undocumented. You just might, but they might not be comfortable enough to tell you. Vargas went on to found Define American, an organization that focuses on using stories to change the immigration conversation in the US. They also come up with lists like this.


There are so many talented artists who are undocumented that instead, here are some links to lists that are way better than anything I could come up with.


Ask Angy is the first-ever undocumented advice column. According to its founder, Angy Rivera, Ask Angy was created in New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC) so that undocumented folks could ask questions anonymously. Plus, NYSLC does cool stuff and is behind many of the wins for immigrant communities in New York.

DACA Discord Chat Room is a chat room on Reddit that allows people with DACA to keep up with updates and chat among themselves. It’s one way technology allows people to help each other, so this is a good link to give to someone who is worried about what DACA’s end might mean for them.

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