They were brought here as children by families in search of a better life, but were deported or returned voluntarily back to Mexico as adults. Upon returning, the 26 subjects of the 2014 book "Los Otros Dreamers" found themselves outsiders in their "native" country, many longing to return to the English-speaking land they grew up calling home. On Monday, April 4, DREAMers Club de Sonoma State University hosts a panel discussion with members of that group of 26 in the Student Center ballroom at 4 p.m.
The panel at Sonoma State includes two people featured in the book and others who have experienced similar circumstances. Author Jill Anderson will participate via Skype, using would-be travel money for visas and other costs related to bringing those featured in the book back to the country they know as home. The two who have returned to the United States on visas were able to do so thanks to profits from book sales.
Anderson, who hails from Nevada, was working on post-doctoral research in Mexico when she noticed an increase in Latinos coming from the United States. What clued her in was their language--they were largely speaking English, and many worked in a call center in Mexico for a company with English-speaking customers. She teamed up with photographer Nin Solis to make the 240-page book.
The book "Los Otros Dreamers" is made up of 26 first-hand accounts of returning to Mexico, either by will or by force. The stories are heart wrenching; some were arrested, some were sent back after their immigration paperwork was denied, some returned on their own for other reasons. Their situations all happened before the DACA was approved in 2013, which allowed people brought to the United States illegally as children to remain temporarily as a path to citizenship was worked out.
Sonoma State President Ruben Armiñana has voiced support for a DREAM Center to assist undocumented students on campus, and in December Associated Students voted to support the effort. Santa Rosa Junior College launched a similar program last year.
For more information, contact:
Mariana G. Martinez, DREAMers Club Advisor, 707.664.3897, firstname.lastname@example.org