We ARE Americans critical Reflection- Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream

A critical Reflection


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A critical Reflection

Question 1.

In part I of We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream, Perez & Solorzano (2009) describe the stories of four students categorized as undocumented American immigrants, namely Lilia, Jeronimo, Jaime, and Penelope. Out of the narratives, the one that resonated with me most is that of Jamie. The main reason is that Jamie has experienced numerous frequent movements from one place to another throughout his childhood (Perez, 2009). He did not have an opportunity to settle, focus on learning and build lasting relationships with people. Moving to America was his best opportunity to settle and concentrate on learning and building his future life. Like the other four students, he faces a lack of documentation to be recognized as an American (Perez, 2009). The most compelling issue about Jamie is that as he goes through various challenges, his father, the breadwinner, was arrested because of a lack of documentation. His father was compelled to sell his house after the arrest. As such, Jamie goes through other problems, such as the lack of adequate housing and documentation.

Question 2.

Jamie’s surroundings have supported the growth of his musical talent. He has been playing and even leading community bands in the US. However, his childhood experiences have limited his social and career development. Movement from one place to another made it difficult for Jamie to develop close, long-term friendships (Perez, 2009). Consequently, he failed to develop social skills effectively, and this explains why he is regarded as a “nerd” by other students in America (Perez, 2009). Also, Jamie’s experiences limit his opportunities for career development. Due to the lack of documentation, for instance, he could not enroll in the military despite being highly qualified.

Question 3.

As he grew up, Jamie realized that he was not recognized as an American, and thus, he had to accept his status. He realized he lacked the privileges available to other students that were documented Americans (Perez, 2009). Jamie realized that to survive; he had to work extremely hard.

Question 4.

Jamie got protection and support mainly from his parents and teachers. His father sacrificed himself for Jamie to have access to education. His teachers supported him by enrolling him in the gifted program. One of the teachers taught him how to conduct research, which became his greatest passion (Perez, 2009). In Bronfenbrenner’s systems, support and protection exist in the microsystem, which encompasses things with direct and immediate impact on a child’s environment (Bronfenbrenner, 2009).

Question 5.

Jamie faces the risk and danger of being deported if the government authorities realize he is an undocumented immigrant (Perez, 2009). In Bronfenbrenner’s systems, the government authorities and laws and regulations exist in the ecosystem category. The category consists of factors that do not contain a child, but influence their lives (Bronfenbrenner, 2009).


Bronfenbrenner, U. (2009). The Ecology of Human Development. Harvard University Press

Perez, W. (2009). We are Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream.

Sterling: Stylus Publishing, LL