Project Update

For those following the Undocumented Voices project, the project has seen many changes (to our name, team, and mission) as we strive to create an inclusive and comprehensive archive of oral histories documenting the history of the undocumented youth movement in Arizona and California.

After many sketches, mock-ups, and deliberation, Undocumented Voices now has a new logo design. Although we have a partnership with the UCLA Labor Center, the ASU team has decided to create a logo that represents the sentiments of the Arizona movement, specifically. Our logo represents our project’s focus, stories about the movement, and its leaders. These stories most often reflect the feeling and experience of being undocumented. We have therefore created a word cloud using the most frequent words associated with these stories.

Newest Logo

We have also been in constant contact with ASU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). In order to collect oral history interviews, the project needs the IRB’s approval. We are in the process of reviewing and revising our consent and recruitment forms, as well as our interview questions. Originally, our project would not be allowed to use the real names of individuals, forcing us to create a pseudonym for each interviewee. However, this was problematic, as undocumented individuals do not see themselves as vulnerable and the movement is moving towards a focus on personal identity. As the phrase “Undocumented and Unafraid” states, undocumented youth are not afraid to identify themselves. We expressed this sentiment to the IRB and they have agreed to not require pseudonyms for the interviews.

We are also happy to introduce Aidan Orsino and Cynthia Van Der Heyden, two new students who will be working on Undocumented Voices during the spring semester.

If you would like more information about our project, feel free to contact us at

Sources for word cloud logo:

“Learning to Be Illegal: Undocumented Youth and Shifting Legal Contexts in the Transition to Adulthood.”
“Dreams Deferred: The Impact of Legal Reforms on Undocumented Latino Youth.”
“A Life in the Shadows: Problems Facing Undocumented Youth.”

Research and Data Mining

The Public History program at ASU understands the importance of technology and its ability to further what we do as historians in new and thought-provoking ways. Undocumented Voices is an oral history project that seeks to document the lives of undocumented students through oral history.  These oral histories are the main focus on our archive, but we also want to add further data to our archive, such as books, articles, artwork, photos, etc.  We wish to build an archive that houses historical events and stories, but also seek to show how the movement changes over time.  To do this, we are gathering data from the web.  This information typically reveals more recent activity and its addition to the archive will illuminate on changes in the movement.  The data gathered online will complement our digital archive of oral histories and artifacts.

We are working with ASU’s Institute of Humanities Research Nexus Laboratory for Digital Humanities and Transdisciplinary Informatics. They are helping us create digital tools that will allow us to text and data mine using different search engines.  Our team’s goal is to provide and develop search criteria. Right now, we are focusing on google images in order to test this tool and work out any bugs.  We hope to see what data from social media, such as Twitter, might be added to our archive. Ultimately, we will scrape the web for text, photographs, and various metadata that we can use later to search and process for patterns and trends.   The tools we use will allow us to populate an Omeka database with primary source material about the Undocumented Immigrant Youth Movement drawn from the web.



Dream Summer and Beyond

Junive, Matt, and Holly traveled to Dream Summer at UCLA earlier this June to present our project and meet our UCLA team members. Our project got a lot of feedback.

After speaking with Chantiri and Mayra, we concluded that the project’s name was problematic, as the movement was moving away from the term “Dream”. After out project presentation, we posed the question, “What should we call ourselves?” The participants of Dream Summer were more than willingly to share their ideas. Below are some of their suggestions:

The Tale of Our Dreams
Voices From the Shadows
Voices of the Unheard
Undocutales: Hear our Voice
Undocumented, Unafraid
Undocumented in the USA
Undocutales: Voices

One participant suggested “Undocuvoices”. When we returned to the ASU team, we went through each suggestion and discussed how it would fit the project. “Undocuvoices” stood out the most, so we split it up and created “Undocumented Voices: The History of a Youth Immigrant Movement”.

Now we’ve moved on to creating a new logo to fit our new identity.

LGBTQ and HIV affected Undocumented Statistics

Undocumented survivors were more likely to report to the police and to experience police violence, violence in the workplace and public areas, threats, intimidation, and discrimination. Undocumented survivors were also more likely to experience sexual violence, physical hate violence, injury, and to require medical attention. Undocumented survivors were 1.7 times more likely to report to the police and 1.4 times more likely to experience police violence, 1.4 times more likely to experience violence in the workplace and public areas, 1.6 times more likely to experience threats and intimidation and 1.8 times more likely to experience discrimination. Undocumented survivors were 3.4 times more likely to experience sexual violence, 3.0 times more likely to experience physical hate violence, and 3.5 times more likely to experience any physical violence. Undocumented survivors were also 2.0 times more likely to experience injury as a result of hate violence and 1.7 times more likely to require medical attention.

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs – LGBTQ and HIV affected Hate Violence in 2013

Meet the UCLA Team

Our UCLA team consists of:
Mayra Yoana, one of the Dream Summer coordinators. She will be overseeing the project at UCLA.

Ana Muniz, the new project director for the Dream Resource Center. She will also be overseeing the project at UCLA with Mayra.

Chantiri Ramirez, a second year PhD student who we are sponsoring through the Dream Summer internship program. She has researched and written about the undocumented youth movement extensively as well as having participated in the movement in California.


Who are the DREAMers: Facts

Potential DACA Beneficiaries by Country/Region of Origin

Nearly seven-tenths of potential beneficiaries are Mexican, but immigrants who might be eligible come from all corners of the globe.

  • Roughly 68 percent of potential beneficiaries are Mexican, while 13 percent are from other countries in North and Central America (including the Caribbean) {Figure 2}.
  • Approximately 8 percent of potential beneficiaries are from Asia, 7 percent from South America, 2 percent from Europe, and 2 percent from other parts of the world {Figure 2}.

Immigration Policy Center: Who and Where the DREAMers Are

What is DACA?

When talking about the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors), and the DREAM movement, things can seem a little confusing. Currently, DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is the Obama Administration’s policy to defer action against individuals who meet the requirements of the DREAM act (among them, under the age of 31, arrived to the US before the age of 16, and are currently in school, have a diploma or GED, or was honorably discharged from the US military).

DACA lasts for two years before requiring renewal — a process that many people are now going through, as it is 2014, and DACA was enacted in 2012.

However, DACA does not mean that those who have been granted DACA are legal citizens, or on the path to citizenship.

On the Department of Homeland Security’s FAQ page on DACA:

Q13: Is passage of the DREAM Act still necessary in light of the new process?
A13: Yes.The Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15th memorandum allowing certain people to request consideration for deferred action is the most recent in a series of steps that DHS has taken to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety. Deferred action does not provide lawful status or a pathway to citizenship. As the President has stated, individuals who would qualify for the DREAM Act deserve certainty about their status. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer the certainty that comes with a pathway to permanent lawful status.

For more information on DACA, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s webpage, here.