Shining a Spotlight on DREAMers

By: Aasne Daniels  

In 2012, President Obama introduced the immigration policy known as DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children to apply for deferment from deportation. President Trump's determination to rescind DACA and the failure of Congress to find a legislative resolution have spread panic among these "DREAMers." Once a DREAMer herself who was finally able to attain citizenship, Illinois College student Karina Donayre had a passion to share the stories of others like her and to educate her community. Even though she had never done theatre previously, she chose this art form as the vehicle for communicating the fears and joys, hardships and triumphs of her fellow border crossers. Many struggled with their identities, with finding a place to belong and call home. This paper tracks The Hidden Project from its inception to its realization, beginning with interviewing undocumented immigrants, curating the hours of interviews into a dramatic work, and finally presenting the play in front of an audience in October 2017. This performance was revelatory, because it illuminated the hearts and minds of not only of these DREAMers but also the US citizens they live among.

DACA Theatre Immigration
Identity and Belonging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Aasne Daniels

Illinois College, United States
United States