Whilst many undocumented migrants in the United States continue to exist in the shadows, since the turn of the millennium an increasing number have emerged within public debate, casting themselves against the dominant discursive trope of the "illegal alien," and entering the struggle over political self-representation. Drawing on a range of life narratives published from 2001 to 2016, this book explores how undocumented migrants have represented themselves in various narrative forms in the context of the DREAM Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) movement.

By reading these self-representations as both a product of America's changing views on citizenship and membership, and an arena where such views can potentially be challenged, the book interrogates the role such self-representations have played not only in constructing undocumented migrant identities, but also in shaping social borders. At a time when the inclusion and exclusion of (potential) citizens is once again highly debated in the United States, the book concludes by giving a potential indication of where views on undocumented migration might be headed. This interdisciplinary exploration of migrant narratives will be of interest to scholars and researchers across American Literary and Cultural Studies, Citizenship Studies, and Ethnic and Migration Studies.

chapter |21 pages


Documenting the undocumented 1

part I|40 pages

From aliens to DREAMers

part II|79 pages

Life narratives by undocumented migrants

chapter 3|31 pages

The beginnings of the undocumented movement

64The first congressional testimonies

chapter 4|22 pages

The undocumented movement comes of age

Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out

chapter 5|25 pages

Unapologetic, unafraid, undocuqueer

Jose Antonio Vargas’ “Outlaw”

part III|56 pages

Life writing by undocumented migrants

chapter 6|30 pages

From DREAM Act to DACA, from life narrative to life writing

143Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s Undocumented

chapter 7|15 pages

Challenging how to narrate undocumentedness

José Ángel N.’s Illegal

chapter 8|10 pages

Concluding remarks

Undocumented in Trump’s America 1