Karla Gachet/Panos Pictures

Los Angeles, California, USA

Alma's tattoos on her arms. One of the 'Dreamer's' symbols is the monarch butterfly which migrates from Mexico to the US. She has a tattoo of a hummingbird with butterfly wings, two symbols of freedom. Alma is a Health Worker linkage to Care Coordinator in LA county. She has worked throughout the pandemic providing health services to the community. As an essential worker she is exposed to COVID-19 and fears she will bring it home to her family. She is grateful for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and yet says it is tiring that her future is alway in limbo.

Alma R., 37, came to the USA when she was six years old. She hadn't seen her parents in two years and that helped her get through her journey up north. She didn't understand why she has to hide in the bushes, run and hide in different cars, she thought once she saw her parents everything was going to be ok. During her senior year in high school, a counsellor asked for her Social Security number so she could apply for college. She went back home and her mother told her she didn't have one and she realised then she was undocumented. She went back to the counsellor and told him what her mother had said, he then told her unfortunately she wasn't going to be able to go to college like her classmates and that she was better off working with her mother at a sweat shop. This hurt her, she felt it was so unfair after all her efforts in getting good grades. Fortunately, another college counsellor came to their school and told her she had options. This experience made her become aware and advocate for the immigrant community. She mobilised in college campuses and she co-founded 'Dreams to be Heard' at CSUN which helped her learn about her rights regardless of status and to remain strong for her family and advocate for her and others in the same situation. She believes DACA passed because of the organised efforts of students. To her DACA has always been bitter sweet because a lot of her friends who organised to make it pass didn't qualify for the program. It also doesn't protect her parents. She is currently a member of the Transnational Feminist Organization (AFIRM). She is thankful to DACA but knows immigrants who work hard everyday deserve better, a program that is more inclusive and that will not determine who is the good or bad immigrant or who has the right to exist.

Object Name
Karla Gachet/Panos Pictures
Los Angeles, California
Max size
High Resolution
5000 x 3333 pixels
42.33 x 28.22 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.11 inch (300 dpi)
7.0 MB size on disk
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