Maria ines peniche dream nine
Maria Ines Peniche an aunuthorized immigrant who grew up in the U.S. She is one of the Dream Nine, who "self-deported" themselves and turned themselves in at a border patrol station and applied for asylum. Latino USA

A year after Barack Obama announced DACA and DAPA, it is easy to take the deferred action policies for granted. Giving undocumented immigrants legal status was always the plan for Obama, right? A new radio episode on Latino USA questions those expectations by showing the extraordinary efforts of Dream activists, a group of politically engaged young immigrants in the country illegally who were raised in the U.S. The episode focuses on the Dream nine, a group of Dreamers who pushed the envelope.

In 2013, the nine students deported themselves to Mexico, dressed up in caps and gowns, and turned themselves to the Border Patrol. Once detained, they demanded asylum. That led to 2 two weeks in an immigration jail.

The action gave them a platform to extol the arguments of Dreamer politics, including demands for in-state tuition and a pathway to citizenship. Dreamers argue that they often fulfill civic duties, working hard, volunteering, and following the law, but are denied civic rewards and full legal rights because of the immigration mistakes of their parents.

In Latino USA’s radio story, which airs on Friday, documents the dissatisfactions these undocumented young people had with existing activism. Marches, leaflets and protest signs didn’t feel like enough, so they turned to something more serious, a demonstration that would take them across international borders and behind bars.

“We grapple with the legacy of the action. Why did they do it? What was gained? How much was risked? And how did activists like the Dream 9 move the dial on national immigration policy?”

The full episode will be is available on Soundcloud, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, and iTunes and UPDATE, you can listen to the teaser full episode below.

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