NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University’s social work department will present a panel discussion and screening of the film, “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth” on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in Room 260 of O’Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue.
The presentation is free and open to the public. Members of the panel will include people who are directly impacted by this issue, as well as professionals who work with them.
There are 12 million undocumented immigrants who live in the United States, 2 million of whom are children. The film and discussion focuses attention on those youths who did not decide on their own to become illegal immigrants; rather, their parents made the choice for them.
Although born outside the U.S., these young people are raised in this country, educated in American schools, hold American values and know only the U.S. as their home. Despite this lifelong domestic orientation, they quickly discover upon their high school graduations that the door to a future in this country is slammed shut.
For the 65,000 undocumented students who graduate every year from high school without “papers,” it is against the law for them to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. They live at risk of arrest, detention, and deportation to countries they may not even remember. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.