The Making of a Dream by Laura Wides-Muñoz | SLJ Review

Wides-Muñoz follows the personal accounts of a handful of undocumented young people, tracing their arrival in the United States, their school years, and how and why they turned to activism for immigration rights.

redstarWIDES-MUÑOZ, Laura. The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means To Be American. 368p. illus. index. notes. HarperCollins/Harper. Jan. 2018. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9780062560124.

Wides-Muñoz follows the personal accounts of a handful of undocumented young people, tracing their arrival in the United States, their school years, and how and why they turned to activism for immigration rights. A longtime AP reporter, she offers a deep but engaging history of recent immigration issues and policy—both within the immigration rights movement and the halls of power in Washington, DC. Touching on the changes to immigration law while Ronald Reagan was in office, the narrative moves to the beginnings of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. First proposed during George W. Bush’s administration, the bill would have granted residency to certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors, but political priorities changed after September 11. The bulk of the volume covers immigration issues under Barack Obama—the resurrection of the DREAM Act and the protest tactics and legislative goals of different immigrant rights groups. The final chapter introduces some of the changes that occurred during the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Of note, the author addresses issues that have gone unexplored in the national discourse, such as the emotional and physical toll of years of activism. She also discusses the guilt that many feel about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as it potentially grants young people legal status but leaves their parents unprotected. VERDICT A ­compelling, ­eye-opening work; recommended for all collections.–Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA This review was published in the School Library Journal May 2018 issue.

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