This is the latest in a series of posts on individual Dreamers, undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children, many of whom are under threat of deportation following the Trump administration’s decision last month to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Areli Munoz-Reyes, a nursing student at Forest Park Community College, did not know she was undocumented until she was about to turn 16.
“As she planned to get her driver’s license—she lived in University City at the time—her parents gave her the “talk,” wrote Tony Messenger of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a recent profile of Munoz-Reyes. “They explained that she wasn’t a citizen, that she couldn’t get a license like all of her friends.”
Messenger has been following Munoz-Reyes for two years, from the impact of Missouri’s successful effort to exclude undocumented immigrants from the state’s A+ Scholarship Program (she would have qualified), to enrolling in community college, to becoming a leader in the Dreamer movement and finding “her activist voice.”
Like other Dreamers, Munoz-Reyes identifies as an American. “I consider the United States my country and Missouri my state,” she said in a video clip accompanying the piece.
And many in her community agree. Messenger said that within moments of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing the administration’s decision on DACA, faith and other leaders in St. Louis issued statements standing up for the Dreamers, including Archbishop Robert Carlson and the Scholarship Foundation—which stepped in to help pay Munoz-Reyes’ tuition when the A+ Program was no longer an option.
To read the full profile of Areli Munoz-Reyes, click here.