Recently, Laurier Brantford hosted two individuals from Mexico who had been deported from the US after being raised there as they were the children of illegal immigrants. Maggie Loredo and Sayra Hernandez are both involved in an organization called “Los Otros Dreams en Acción,” dedicated to providing support to people living in Mexico who have had experiences similar to theirs. The Other Dreamers are the children of illegal Mexican immigrants who grew up in the United States and were forced to move to Mexico as a result of deportation or limited opportunity in the US due to Donald Trump’s immigration reform.
Trump has declared that Mexican citizens who immigrate to the US illegally are both a financial burden and a threat to public safety. As part of the immigration reform, Trump has put an end to citizenship by birthright. His policy for immigration reform claims, “This remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration. By a 2:1 margin, voters say it’s the wrong policy, including Harry Reid who said, “no sane country” would give automatic citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.”
Maggie Loredo moved to Mexico when she discovered she was unable to attend university in the US as her parents were undocumented. She crossed the border from the US into Mexico, knowing she wouldn’t be able to return, with very little knowledge of Mexican culture or the Spanish language. Sayra Hernandez is a 17-year old youth who was deported from the US last August. Her sister is currently still living in the US.
Maggie later went on to become a co-founder of “Los Otros Dreams en Acción” (The Other Dreams in Action). Their mission statement is, “In Otros Dreams en Acción we are dedicated to mutual support and political action by and for young people who grew up in the United States and are now in Mexico due to deportation, threat of deportation, the deportation of a family member, and/or other obstacles.” They have a Facebook page where they post updates about the ODA campaign and opportunities for Other Dreamers. Since being deported, Sayra has become heavily involved in ODA as well.
Dr. Stacey Wilson-Forsberg, a professor and researcher in the fields of immigration and multiculturalism at Laurier Brantford, met Maggie and Sayra when she traveled to Mexico with a group of students in the Human Rights and Human Diversity program to conduct a field placement where they were provided the opportunity to learn about some of the experiences of immigrant youth in Mexico and put human faces to the Other Dreamers issue.
Dr. Wilson-Forsberg recently hosted Maggie and Sayra on campus. They came to Laurier to share their experiences and raise awareness for the Other Dreamers. A live video was posted to the Facebook page for ODA, outlining the details of the trip and Sayra said this about coming to Laurier Brantford, “Coming here has opened my mind to know that there’s other opportunities, not just for me…but for all the community, that is still behind us in Mexico.”
Dr. Wilson-Forsberg has proposed to develop a scholarship for four Other Dreamers to study at Laurier in Brantford. One student a year from the Other Dreamers project would be able to study at Laurier Brantford with their expenses paid for. This scholarship would come from an extra two-dollars charged on top of tuition for each student at Laurier Brantford per semester. This proposal has been well received.