Ana & the DREAM Act
Hector Tobar’s column today in the Los Angeles Times highlights Ana Venegas, an undocumented student who just graduated from Cal State Los Angeles. Ana was a high school classmate of mine and I knew about her situation then, just as I knew the stories of countless more who were about to graduate from high school and were looking to get a job, join the military, or attend college but were barred by their undocumented states. From Tobar’s column:
People like Ana Venegas are said to be living “in the shadows.”
It’s the most annoying of all the metaphors in the immigration debate. And woefully inaccurate.
Venegas, 23, entered this country illegally as a 10-month-old baby carried across the Mexico-U.S. border by her teenage mother. She’s never been able to legalize her status. That makes her “undocumented,” if you’re someone sympathetic to her plight. And an “illegal” if you’re not.
But whatever you want to call her, the one thing you can’t say about Ana is that she’s been hiding. For 22 years she’s lived in the bright sunshine of South Gate, in a neighborhood that looks like a bonsai-tree version of the American dream.
I’m glad to see her story presented in the Los Angeles Times. She stands in for the millions of Americans who would benefit from the DREAM Act and demonstrates the great benefits such legislation would provide.
To read Tobar’s column on Ana, click here.