A bill in the New York legislature would give young, undocumented immigrants the right to work and drive a car in the state. In Arizona, meanwhile, efforts are underway to make it more difficult for undocumented students to attend state colleges and universities.
In both New York and Arizona, as well as other states that have passed or are considering similar legislation, the undocumented young people who would be most directly affected have taken a central role in the debate. They are revealing their immigration status on Facebook and at public events and using social media as a political organizing tool. In the process they are transforming the immigration reform movement across the country.
These activists ‘ known as dreamers, ‘ take their name from the DREAM Act, a measure that narrowly failed in the U.S. Senate last year (and reintroduced last month), that would provide a path to legal status for young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents at an early age.
In the latest podcast from the Center for New York City Affairs Feet in Two Worlds immigrant journalism project, executive producer John Rudolph speaks with two journalists who have been covering the dreamers and their use of social media and other organizing tactics. Aswini Anburajan is a free lance journalist in New York. Valeria Fernandez reports from Phoenix on immigration issues.