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A Dream, Deferred Indefinitely

My grandmother carried me into this country at age of 3 in 1991. You can say I am American, I just don’t have the papers to prove it. My grandmother and I have been living in this country the same amount of years and yet somehow through the deliberate activism of young immigrant activists, I was granted the right to work lawfully and advance in my career. My grandmother wasn’t as lucky.

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NBC's "Superstore" reveals that one character is undocumented

NBC broke some serious ground on the premiere of season 2 of NBC sitcom, “Superstore.” Mateo, a gay character from the Philippines, discovers that he is an undocumented immigrant. The episode "Olympics," had 10.9 million viewers, and depicted a series of storylines that were related to the Olympic games.

Inside the "Iceboxes"

Graphic images of men, women, and children in cramped and unsanitary rooms known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, were released as part of evidence in the case of Doe v. Johnson. U.S. Customs and Border Protection rules dictate that detainees should be held for no more than 12 hours, but evidence suggests that individuals were in detention for an average of 49.9 hours

Statement by Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder of Define American, on Melania Trump

Define American has started a petition inviting Melania Trump to join our “Coming Out” campaign by sharing her own immigration story more fully with the people of her adopted home country of America, which she may one day represent to the world as our First Lady.

These Incredible Maps Illustrate our Immigrant Heritage

What language did your ancestors speak at home? If you’re a fourth generation resident of Kansas, there’s a pretty good chance that they spoke German. If you’re a fairly recent resident, maybe they speak Spanish? The following maps were uploaded to /r/MapPorn, reddit’s map enthusiast community. They bring to life the complexities of …

Jessica Diaz-Hurtado wins "USA Our Way" Contest

Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, a Washington, D.C., based multimedia artist and journalist has won the inaugural “USA Our Way” contest, sponsored by ArtChangeUs and Define American. Her prize winning video, “Mi América,” showcases a reflective spoken word piece, overlaid with footage from  North, Central and South America. Diaz-Hurtado writes, …

A CNN anchor said “illegal immigrant” on air. Here’s why that matters.

Sign the petition, and ask that CNN drop “illegal immigrant” from its editorial guidelines After the Supreme Court’s 4-4 split decision on expanded DACA and DAPA, CNN’s Don Lemon explained the significance of the verdict on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. He said, “This case was about the parents of so-called …

Statements from Define American re: United States vs. Texas

From Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder of Define American: “Among the things America, its history and its people has really taught me: You don’t give up. You move forward. You fight on. By definition, immigrants are resilient, resourceful, courageous people. We will not give up. I will not give up.” From Rev. Ryan Eller, VP of …

Mayte Lara and Larissa Martinez Define American

The first-person accounts of two graduating Texas high school seniors are changing the way people are talking about undocumented immigrants. On Friday, June 3, Mayte Lara of Crockett High School in Austin, TX tweeted that she was undocumented, as well highlighting her accomplishments: a 4.5 GPA, a full-ride scholarship to the University of Texas at …

Confronting Trump on a Megabus

This article is by Jin Park, the leader of our college chapter at Harvard University. I moved to the States with my parents when I was 7, and I have been living in NYC ever since. In 2012, I received DACA, which has done much more than allowing me to work …

Words Without Papers

To be undocumented is to feel unheard. Reading and writing are often a luxury not afforded to people like us. When there is money to be made there is no time to place words on paper in hopes that our reality becomes better. We write poems on napkins during 15-minute lunch breaks often …

A Dream, Deferred Indefinitely

My grandmother carried me into this country at age of 3 in 1991. You can say I am American, I just don’t have the papers to prove it. My grandmother and I have been living in this country the same amount of years and yet somehow through the deliberate activism of young immigrant activists, I was granted the right to work lawfully and advance in my career. My grandmother wasn’t as lucky.

When Art Imitates Life

For U.S. citizens, trying to imagine what the experience of being undocumented is like can be difficult — if not impossible — and at the least tinged with stereotypes. In order for more people to understand what the undocumented experience is like, there needs to be more representation, particularly in the media. Armando Ibanez is …

What Hollywood can learn from Hamilton

If you happened to follow the #oscarssowhite controversy earlier this year, then you know that diversity in casting is a steep mountain that the entertainment industry has yet to scale. According to the 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report, minorities account for more than 40 percent of the US population, yet remain underrepresented nearly six …

Jose Antonio Vargas Explains DACA+/DAPA on The Kelly File

Jose Antonio Vargas joined Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File last night on Fox News. They discussed the upcoming ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Texas, which had its hearing yesterday, April 18. Kelly stated that “without borders, we don’t have a country.” “Absolutely a country has a right …

History in the Making

History in the Making Today is the day. This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of U.S. v. Texas. The decision over expanded DACA (DACA+) and DAPA will affect millions of lives and …