Fighting for a Dream
The news media is flooded with innumerable stories about the DREAMers who are shining members of society as outlined by white standards—those studying to be doctors, enrolled in ROTC, graduating with honors. We've been reminded by different writers and broadcasters, again and again, that most of us are immigrants and that the entire country is built on migration.
But the Trump administration's attack on DACA—and the massive push back by the resistance—is bigger than a fight for 800,000 DREAMers. This is a fight for an American dream we can—and want to—believe in. The photos in this article are of the LA protest, but this weekend people took to the streets across the country to continue this fight.
[Photo descriptions clockwise from top left: 1. A young woman cries in a crowd of protesters next to a sign that says "I can't sit next to inequity and do nothing: my sons are watching." 2. A woman in dangly gold earrings and a floral shirt holds a sign saying "YA BASTA!" her expression determined. 3. A crowd of protesters hold up signs and flags with the words "Here to stay! #defendDACA," "Dreamers never stop dreaming," and "Deport Racists." 4. A man pushes a woman in a wheelchair who holds a sign saying "sin papeles y sin miedo"]
As a pathway (albeit flawed) to living the life most of us take for granted—a life with the ability to drive a car or even to feel safe at home—DACA provided hope at home and abroad. "Being an American" isn't something most of us are proud of at the moment—but for people around the world, it's still an incredible feat. For many, it's still a distant hope. The original DREAM Act—and its watered-down distant cousin DACA—tried to say: "If you grew up an American, and you want to be an American, then we consider you an American."
DACA is a foundational part of our fight to build an America that we want to be a part of.
I want an America where we don't register success by an archaic colonial standard and where we don't hand out futures based on birthright. I want our nation's values to reflect the true colors of our cities and our economy. I want to live in a country where true equality is endowed to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or their country of origin.
If you call this country home, let it be your home.
Molly Adams is an LA-based photographer documenting stories from Afghanistan to Standing Rock to queer clubs. You can find her on Instagram.