Photos: Mixed Feelings For L.A.'s Immigrant Minors | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Photos: Mixed Feelings For L.A.'s Immigrant Minors

The Supreme Court struck down parts of Arizona's immigration policy on Monday. And earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that it will grant deferred action to certain illegal immigrants who arrived as minors. That does not pave a path to permanent legal status or citizenship, but does delay the threat of deportation for many. Photographer Mae Ryan at member station KPCC in Los Angeles has been following undocumented youth to tell the story.

I started photographing illegal immigrant students and graduates in April for a short feature about Isaac Barrera, who is in college and has been living in the U.S. since he was 4 years old.

While driving about nine months ago, Isaac was pulled over for a broken headlight. He was asked for his license, ticketed and later arrested for failing to appear in court. Now he is out on bail but could face deportation.

Barrera's bedroom is covered in photos and drawings by fellow beneficiaries of the California DREAM Act, which has given conditional permanent residency to students like him.

From the day I showed up at his house and met his family, I realized that I wanted to share the faces and voices of these people who had been living in the shadows for so long.

When President Obama announced the deferred action plan a few months later, I called up some of them and was surprised by the varied reactions. Some were ecstatic that they might finally get work permits; others still say it's not enough — and a few won't be eligible for the benefits at all. All of them made one thing clear: To finally leave behind the fear of deportation is a relief, but citizenship is the goal.

Find more photos from KPCC — and other cool things -- on Tumblr.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

It's Not Rude: These Portraits Of Wounded Vets Are Meant To Be Stared At

Photographer David Jay says, "I take these pictures so that we can look; we can see what we're not supposed to see. And we need to see them because we created them."
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.