Immigration Stories


Photo Essays from Students at WMCAT

Students from WMCAT’s Advanced Photography studio sought out stories from within their own families or individuals in their community describing their experience in immigrating to the United States.

In some cases, the challenge was to photograph individuals without revealing their identities to protect their undocumented status.
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  • Beyond his hopes and aspirations JP wants people to see him for who he is, beyond the title of "undocumented."

    Mariah Barrera
    DACA Article
  • It was a fear I have never felt before that haunted me. It almost seemed unforgettable; the fear of losing my family and friends, the fear of dying, the fear of being alone.

    Alex Hua
    Salvation: Finding A New Beginning
  • Daniel was always taught never to talk about them coming in to the United States, but at 18 Danny is starting to tell his story.

    Amelia Berg
    Daniel Caracheo

KidSpeak 2018: Tearing Down the Walls

KidSpeak is an annual forum connecting local youth with legislators, community leaders, and school officials. This year, several WMCAT students used the event’s platform and topic of “tearing down the walls” to share their stories and experiences with immigration. The event was facilitated by the Mayor’s Youth Council, managed by Our Community’s Children, and held at Grand Rapids City Hall.

"The Daily Life of Twins" by Tirson Sanchez

Honorable Mention at Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Tirson spoke at KidSpeak 2018, describing his family’s story of deportation:

“My brother asked where mom has gone to and when she is coming back, and it killed me to tell them the truth. The conversation we had broke my heart. Having to tell them about my mother leaving, overflowed us with pain and sorrow.”