The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to Be American

The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to Be American

by Laura Wides-Muñoz


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A journalist chronicles the next chapter in civil rights—the story of a movement and a nation, witnessed through the poignant and inspiring experiences of five young undocumented activists who are transforming society’s attitudes toward one of the most contentious political matters roiling America today: immigration.

They are called the DREAMers: young people who were brought, or sent, to the United States as children and who have lived for years in America without legal status. Growing up, they often worked hard in school, planned for college, only to learn they were, in the eyes of the United States government and many citizens, "illegal aliens."

Determined to take fate into their own hands, a group of these young undocumented immigrants risked their safety to "come out" about their status—sparking a transformative movement, engineering a seismic shift in public opinion on immigration, and inspiring other social movements across the country. Their quest for permanent legal protection under the so-called "Dream Act," stalled. But in 2012, the Obama administration issued a landmark, new immigration policy: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which has since protected more than half a million young immigrants from deportation even as efforts to install more expansive protections remain elusive.

The Making of a Dream begins at the turn of the millennium, with the first of a series of "Dream Act" proposals; follows the efforts of policy makers, activists, and undocumented immigrants themselves, and concludes with the 2016 presidential election and the first months of the Trump presidency. The immigrants’ coming of age stories intersect with the watershed political and economic events of the last two decades: 9/11, the recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama presidency, and the rebirth of the anti-immigrant right.

In telling their story, Laura Wides-Muñoz forces us to rethink our definition of what it means to be American.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062560124
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,140,422
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Laura Wides-Muñoz ​is the author of The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What it Means to be American, based on more than a decade of reporting on immigration, much of it done while a staff writer for The Associated Press.

Previously, she served as Vice President for Special Projects & Editorial Strategy at Univision’s English-language Fusion Network, and as a senior story editor for the network's TV and digital investigative teams.

Laura has reported from Cuba and throughout Central America and has written for The Miami Herald, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among other outlets. She has won the Associated Press Managing Editors Award and multiple Society of Professional Journalists awards.

The Making of a Dream is her first published book. She conceived of the project during a 2013 Harvard University Nieman Foundation for Journalism fellowship. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her family.

Table of Contents

Cast of Characters ix

Author's Note xv

Chapter 1 In the Beginning 1

Chapter 2 Seeds Planted 25

Chapter 3 A Wake-up Cry 53

Chapter 4 Dark Clouds Lead to a Trail 77

Chapter 5 A Trail of Tears and Dreams 101

Chapter 6 Arrival and Afterglow 125

Chapter 7 A Marriage, A Death, and a Vote 151

Chapter 8 New Paths 173

Chapter 9 Mounting Pressure 197

Chapter 10 After Daca 221

Chapter 11 The Next Battle 245

Chapter 12 New Alliances 271

Chapter 13 Graduation 295

Chapter 14 Here to Stay 313

Acknowledgments 325

A Note on Language 329

Notes 331

Index 343

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