“I was just drawing a lot. I couldn’t stop that. I thought I was sick,” Ba recalled. The people around him agreed. Convinced that something was wrong, he searched for an answer. The director of the French cultural center in Nuakchott, Mauritania, where he lived, told him to see a psychologist. An American missionary told him his house was plagued by spirits. Despairing, he showed his drawings to another American, a Peace Corp volunteer.
After three days in detainment, nine DREAMers known as the DREAM 9 on social media, engaged in a hunger strike to demand more flexible phone privileges and raise awareness for their plight behind bars.
Only 7% of green cards issued in the U.S. are employment-based, even though immigrant entrepreneurs make significant contributions to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) innovation. Read the story on Feet in 2 Worlds.
“Across the United States, American citizens are forced underground, exiled abroad and separated from their spouses for a surprising reason. Amor and Exile is the story of American citizens who fall in love with undocumented immigrants only to find themselves trapped in a legal labyrinth, stymied by their country’s de facto exclusion of their partners.”
The ever-elusive American Dream. It means different things to different people but in the case of Roqui and Elis Andujar, it meant searching for economic opportunities outside of their native Dominican Republic. Their eldest son Nelson is the first to live out “the dream.” Born in the Dominican Republic, but having grown up in the U.S., and always excelling in school, Nelson has the tools to realize his parents’ aspirations by building a better life for himself.
But it has been hard for Nelson to separate his own dreams from those of his parents. He graduated from Columbia University hoping to take over the world and instead found that the economic recession pushed him toward a career outside of the area he studied in college. While his peers were able to find jobs more easily in other parts of the country, it was important to Nelson to remain close to home.
Instead of moving into his own apartment or living with friends, Nelson, 24, chooses to live at his parents’ house in the Bronx, save money, and continue to help out his parents financially. He has grown up keenly aware that he has very little family in this country to fall back on, and feels the need to take care of himself and even prepare himself to take care of his parents. Moving away from New York would mean he would be alone and could not continue to contribute to his family’s finances.
This video documents how Nelson has attempted to navigate both his parents’ dreams and his own.
The sweeping immigration bill that a bipartisan group of senators is preparing will include a major new merit-based program for foreigners to become permanent legal residents based on their work skills, including both high-skilled and blue-collar workers, according to people familiar with a draft of the legislation.