Author Susan Kuklin speaks with Emma O'Sullivan, Staff Attorney for the Santa Fe Dreamers Project.
About Santa Fe Dreamers Project: Santa Fe Dreamers Project provides free legal services to immigrants to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention.
The Stonewall Honor-winning author of Beyond Magenta shares the intimate, eye-opening stories of nine undocumented young adults living in America.
"Maybe next time they hear someone railing about how terrible immigrants are, they'll think about me. I'm a real person."
Meet nine courageous young adults who have lived in the United States with a secret for much of their lives: they are not U.S. citizens. They came from Colombia, Mexico, Ghana, Independent Samoa, and Korea. They came seeking education, fleeing violence, and escaping poverty. All have heartbreaking and hopeful stories about leaving their homelands and starting a new life in America. And all are weary of living in the shadows. We Are Here to Stay is a very different book than it was intended to be when originally slated for a 2017 release, illustrated with Susan Kuklin's gorgeous full-color portraits. Since the last presidential election and the repeal of DACA, it is no longer safe for these young adults to be identified in photographs or by name. Their photographs have been replaced with empty frames, and their names are represented by first initials. We are honored to publish these enlightening, honest, and brave accounts that encourage open, thoughtful conversation about the complexities of immigration -- and the uncertain future of immigrants in America.
Susan Kuklin is the award-winning author and photographer of more than thirty books for children and young adults that address social issues and culture, including No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, andTeenagers on Death Row and Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, which was named a Stonewall Honor Book. Her photographs have appeared in the Museum of the City of New York, documentary films, Time magazine, Newsweek, and the New York Times. Susan Kuklin lives in New York City.
"Kuklin walked two tightropes in writing this book, doing so with competence and skill. Her first tour de force was to succeed in writing about people, not politics, even though the latter plays a consequential, even a central, role in the lives of those she writes about, in the form of immigration policies. Kuklin's mastery is also manifest in her ability to engender empathy and compassion without writing a tear-jerker; the painful experiences, often narrated in a raw and unembellished manner, while inspiring, are more conducive to a productive conversation on the complicated issues of immigration. A must-read."--Kirkus Reviews
"These empty pages are haunting, emphasizing the fear that the children live with, even as their stories address the importance of bringing their experiences out of hiding... We Are Here to Stay is an important book for anyone concerned about the issues surrounding undocumented immigrants."--Foreword Reviews