School is out for summer, and many students are taking the time off to visit family or travel the world. But there’s a group of college students in the United States who can’t really do either of these things: those who may lack necessary documentation after being brought to the U.S. as children. Some call them “DREAMers,” a riff on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors act, known as the DREAM Act.
For those dreaming of traveling abroad, a program called Dreamers Without Borders can help them do just that.
Cindy Agustín, with the National Immigrant Justice Center, was one of the first groups to participate last summer. This summer, she’s helping to organize trips for others.
“For many of us like myself, we came to the United States when we were children,” Agustín says. “I don’t really have any memories, any recollections growing up in Mexico. So being able to participate last year allowed me to not only get to learn more about Mexico – the culture, the history – but also getting to know my family.”
While the program allows these students to leave and then re-enter the country, Agustín says it is recommended that participants apply for advance parole to help avoid any issues re-entering the United States.
“It is a legal process, so I do recommend anyone interested in applying for advance parole consult with an immigration attorney,” Agustín says.
This year, the program hopes to take 100 students to Mexico for four weeks in the winter. Those dates include Christmas and the New Year, so students will be able to spend the holidays with their families. Agustín says the biggest challenge they face is concerns about applying for advance parole.
“The issue that we’re seeing right now is more around the questions young people have in applying for advance parole,” she says. “What has been very useful is for those who have already entered with advance parole to share our story allowing them to see that its possible.”
Post by Alexandra Hart.