During the past decade, millions of Latin American migrants have left their homes and risked death on the perilous journey to the United States in search of a chance to live the ‘American Dream.’ Once here, many of these migrants face economic exploitation, live under the increasing specter of criminality and confront a right-wing political movement dedicated to their removal from American society. Despite these obstacles, these resilient immigrants have contributed greatly to the economy and are transforming American culture in communities across the nation. How the world’s wealthiest nation integrates the estimated 12 million undocumented Latino immigrants will define the future of this country for decades.
The struggle about how best to define and treat this growing and increasingly influential population is one of the most vital and complex issues our nation faces. Although many agree that the current immigration system is not working, few can find common language or understanding to forge effective solutions.
This story is part of Jon Lowenstein long-term project about immigration: Shadow Lives USA.