As untold numbers of Dreamers face uncertainty in the USA, this story should inspire them to have hope and never give up!

Goodykoontz Journalism

kevin-pena-by-pond-resized Kevin Pena, a Linn-Benton Community College student leader, spent his childhood as an undocumented immigrant in Albany, Ore. Photo by Elliot Pond

Kevin Yusif Peña Aceves thought he belonged in his hometown of Albany, Ore. Growing up, he enjoyed life as an American, playing high school sports, teasing his three younger brothers, and hanging out with his friends. He expected to earn a driver’s license, find a job, graduate high school and head to college with the rest of his classmates.  

But when Peña turned 16, his once-planned future dissolved.

Peña discovered he’d been living in the United States as an undocumented immigrant. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, he’d flown to the United States with his parents when he was just 4 years old. His three younger brothers had been born on U.S. soil, but he’d grown up sheltered from his own status.  

Peña couldn’t participate in any of…

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3 thoughts on “Undocumented Dreams, Achievable Reality: One College Student’s Story

  1. When laws are created in any country there will always be a selection of people unfairly treated by them. Typically, it is the poor and other people without sufficient resources (financial, emotional and educational.) This young man was a victim of circumstances. He was completely innocent of any wrong doing. For the extreme left or right wing constituent there are no compromises. This has created a major problem. At the same time, we can only create so many “grey” categories before “right from wrong” (based on legal precedents) gets too blurred. I support all countries mandating the deportation of criminal aliens. I also believe new criteria must be established to permit legal entry and guidelines for permanent residency. Compassion is a value I hold very dear, but who is to determine when the boundaries of compassion are taken advantage of for personal gain (often at other people’s expenses.)

    This is a very difficult emotional topic that will likely require ongoing modifications over many years. There is unlikely to be ONE policy that everyone will agree on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a complicated issue, but I definitely believe people who were brought into the USA as children should be able to apply for permanent residency without having this illegal entry being held against them, and without being deported to Mexico. They grew up in the USA, many don’t speak Spanish, and for them, Mexico is a completely alien and foreign country. Their parents did wrong, but those kids had no choice and no say in the matter. If there’s one grey area that immigration laws need to urgently consider, this is it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Completely respect and understand your position in this matter. I believe this will likely be the end result after much debate. President Trump mixes quite a bit of rhetoric with policy. I believe deporting illegal criminals will become the top priority on the agenda followed by reducing illegal entry. I think most people would agree that this offers a reasonable compromise and a starting point to address this problem.


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