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Elizabeth Keyes

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Defining American: The Dream Act, Immigration Reform, And Citizenship, Elizabeth Keyes Feb 2013

Defining American: The Dream Act, Immigration Reform, And Citizenship, Elizabeth Keyes

Elizabeth Keyes

The DREAM Act and the grassroots movement propelling the legislation forward reveal how the definition of citizenship is undergoing a dramatic transformation, in ways both inspiring and troubling. The DREAM movement depends upon the compelling but exceptional stories of passionate, high-achieving, law-abiding youth who already define themselves as being American, and worthy of legal status. Situating this narrative in the rich literature of citizenship, the article shows how the DREAM movement effectively exposes the disjuncture between the DREAMers' identity as Americans and their lack of legal immigration status. The article celebrates how this narrative succeeds as a contrast to the …