They call themselves the DREAMers: young people who were brought, or sent, to the United States as children and who, until recently, lived in this country without any legal status until the passing of DACA, commonly known as the Dream Act. Before the end of his second term, President Barack Obama's efforts on immigration had been stalled by lawsuits-and yet still there had been the most significant shift in U.S. immigration policy in at least a quarter of a century, and an equally seismic shift in public opinion on one of the most controversial issues of our times.
The Making of a Dream is the story of a group of young people and how they helped shape these major shifts in national policy and public opinion. It begins at the turn of the millennium, with the first of a series of so-called "Dream Act" proposals; follows the efforts of policy makers, activists, and the undocumented themselves, and concludes with the 2016 presidential election and the first months of the Trump presidency. Along the way, the Dreamers' story intersects with the watershed political and economic events of the last two decades: 9/11, the recession, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama presidency, and the rebirth of the anti-immigrant right.