Why I'm Undocumented

Two men working on a truck

What is often called 'illegal immigration' isn’t really treated as illegal

Within the immigration system, there's often no bright line difference between immigrants who came legally and those who broke immigration laws.

What is often called 'illegal immigration' isn’t really treated as illegal
Despite being undocumented, Zully was able to go to college to study arts. Much of her work reflects her experience as an immigrant in America.

An immigrant family remembers the past and ponders their future under Trump

An immigrant family remembers the past and ponders their future under Trump
Arnold and Sharon Giammarco, with their daughter Blair.

After 50 years as a legal immigrant, I spent 18 months in immigration detention without a bail hearing

After 50 years as a legal immigrant, I spent 18 months in immigration detention without a bail hearing
Kim Craig has spent the past three years in Korea, hoping to get home to the US.

This woman has been stuck in Korea for three years trying to get home to the US

This woman has been stuck in Korea for three years trying to get home to the US
Oliver Merino is a museum educator and an activist for the rights of Dreamers — people brought to this country at a young age, without documents.

Young, undocumented and worried. What's next for those who received DACA.

Young, undocumented and worried. What's next for those who received DACA.
Black and white photo of man standing in room

'When I vote next week, I will be saying loud and clear, this is also my country.'

More than ever before, Luis Mancheno feels the heavy burdens of the color of his skin and his national origin. Come November 8, he’s looking for some relief.

'When I vote next week, I will be saying loud and clear, this is also my country.'
Border

A day in the life of immigration limbo

Day after anxious day, a mother who escaped gang violence with her children in El Salvador waits in Boston to know whether she and her family can stay in the US legally or not.

A day in the life of immigration limbo
Couple looks at wedding officiant in ceremony

This is how an entire family that grows up together in the United States can end up with one person undocumented

This is how the US Immigration system works. There is no gray area.

This is how an entire family that grows up together in the United States can end up with one person undocumented
A woman walks on a catwalk around people sitting in chairs

These undocumented workers aren’t in the shadows, they’re out on the catwalk

Whether Melania Trump modeled in the US without work authorization, the fashion industry is a prime place to find undocumented workers, say these models who have been there.

These undocumented workers aren’t in the shadows, they’re out on the catwalk
Two images, one of an infant in black and white and one of a woman

She'll get US citizenship 60 years after being adopted, but thousands more must still wait

Ella Purkiss will be sworn in as a US citizen next week. Advocates say as many as 15,000 people who were adopted from abroad but never naturalized are waiting for legislation that would give them the chance to get documented too.

She'll get US citizenship 60 years after being adopted, but thousands more must still wait
Donald Trump and Melania Trump under an umbrella

This is what it actually takes to be a 'legal immigrant' in the US

Melania Trump says her husband’s position is not against immigrants, just "illegal immigrants." For Sheena Koshy, life, and certainly the immigration system, isn’t that simple.

This is what it actually takes to be a 'legal immigrant' in the US
One man and three women hold signs that say "DAPA now!" and "DAPA Ahora!" before a wall covered with a mural, barely visible.

While the Supreme Court considers deportation policy, the roots of deportation itself come from a much earlier case

In 1893, three men went to the Supreme Court and challenged the authority of the US to deport immigrants. The case’s decision laid the groundwork for the federal government’s long history of deportation.

While the Supreme Court considers deportation policy, the roots of deportation itself come from a much earlier case
student

Meet one of the few undocumented students in the US who has gotten a Ph.D.

She put herself through school picking watermelons and cleaning hotels. Now, she's a researcher at a university lab in California, studying what happens in the human heart just before sudden cardiac death.

Meet one of the few undocumented students in the US who has gotten a Ph.D.
family

Fear of immigration raids? This Honduran woman says she would cross the border again.

While a crackdown on newly arrived migrants, most of whom are Central Americans, worries many immigrants here without papers, extreme violence back home convinces them to take the risk and continue heading north.

Fear of immigration raids? This Honduran woman says she would cross the border again.
Daniel Torres sits on a sofa

He fought for America. Now he can make it home.

It happened in one day. Daniel Torres was interviewed for citizenship and took the oath in San Diego — years after he served in Iraq. He was brought to the US as a child and, he says, wanted to do something for his country when he enlisted with a fake birth certificate.

He fought for America. Now he can make it home.