who have been deported by the U.S. immigration system, as well as those who made the difficult decision to return to Mexico after coming up against obstacles in the United States, often upon graduation from high school or college. Growing out of the research and publication of the book by Jill Anderson and Nin Solis, Los Otros Dreamers, the network connects bilingual and bicultural youth and their allies in a community of recognition and support.
Many of these young people would have been eligible for the Dream Act reforms in the U.S., which would have allowed a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who grew up there with no criminal record and who can go to college or join the military. Many others would have been eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). L@s Otr@s Dreamers also embrace the fact that there are many different dreams and many ways to get there. A rockier path to adulthood may include former gang involvement, minor criminal records, and prison sentences that do not necessarily lead to a life of violence and crime. Many of the young people in this network experienced deportation as exile and banishment from the only home they had ever known.
These young people are searching for ways to return safely to the only home they have ever known in the United States, while others are asking whether the American Dream that motivated so many of their parents might become the Mexican Dream now. They are a generation that often feels “neither here, nor there”, but demands and deserves the recognition of their rights to belong to multiple communities at once, “here and there”.