Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a United States immigration policy that transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, allowing them to stay in the only country many of them ever known as home. DACA’s impact was especially felt in the southern border region — 1 in 5 DACA recipients live in the borderlands, according to the latest data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immigrant youth in the southern border region navigate the stress and uncertainty surrounding their immigration status and that of their family members, as well as the militarization of their region.
Immigrant youth are instrumental to our communities, they’re our neighbors, teachers, nurses and doctors. In fact, approximately 27,000 DACA recipients work as healthcare workers on the frontlines of combating COVID-19.
For Border Dreamers, the binational character of the region is just out of reach.
The ability to travel and visit their birth countries is something that can prevent Border Dreamers from returning to the U.S. Even traveling the short distance across the militarized border without proper permissions could lead to them being permanently deported to countries many of them have never known.
To Mexico and Back: A DACA recipient’s experience with Advance Parole
In 2017, Border Dreamer Itzel Maganda embarked on an emotional journey to her home country of Mexico on advanced parole. Watch as she explores a country she barely knows, and meets with deported veterans and deported moms in the border city of Tijuana, before returning to her home in San Diego.
Meet Border Dreamers
Immigrant youth in the southern border region are an integral part of their communities. Meet four Border dreamers from California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, learn about the adversities they’ve overcome and their plans for the future.