At the Wet: A DACAmented Journey, I learned a lot about the psychological tolls of being undocumented in the United States. Alex’s character, Anner, went through many governmental procedures just to fill the requirements to get his citizenship. This stress, along with the fear of being deported make this process much more difficult.
I was thinking throughout the play. How could someone who has lived in the United States his whole life not be considered an American? It does not make sense how someone can contribute to the society in positive ways and not receive the benefits of citizenship. Anner was a social worker; he helped many people while on DACA. Shutting down DACA will be very detrimental to this country. The United States will lose a lot of great minds and much of the backbone of the country. The criminalization of undocumented immigrants is not practical, it is racist.
Anner’s return to Guatemala reminded me of the passage from Hartman’s The Tribe of the Middle Passage because he was going back to his place of origin, but it was completely unfamiliar to him. He did not fit in. Africans had been displaced by Europeans and Colonial Americans. Similarly, as a result of Trump’s actions, undocumented immigrants will be forced to leave their familiar way of life in the United States.
Anner’s identity had gone through so many changes since he arrived in the United States as an infant. All the experiences add up to create his American identity. Wherever he goes outside of the U.S. people will recognize him as an American. In the beginning of the play, Anner was posting a piece of paper on the board. He was talking about one little piece of paper determining his citizenship status. Bans on DACA will displace so many people who call the U.S. their home. The country of origin is not always home. The United States will not suffer from more immigrants.