For the past two centuries, local historians and writers in England have produced a large number of municipal and county histories, a project formalized in 1899 with the Victoria County History project, a massive undertaking that, more than 100 years later, is still unfinished. These detailed records have proven invaluable for historians and biographers writing on a grander scale, allowing them to compile data and statistics on topics ranging from deaths attributed to the plague to the impact of railroad revenues and services on country life.

Now in their senior and sophomore years of high school, Karen and José Ramos — ages 18 and 16, respectively — are just starting to imagine how they might make their mark on the world after graduation.

In a nation of more than 320 million people, a small group of just 800,000 sit squarely in the crosshairs of a controversial proposal that could end their dream of American citizenship and possibly erode the underpinnings of the American Dream itself.

At 21, Teresa Luna holds two associate’s degrees, a freshly minted diploma in dental assisting from AB Tech and dreams of one day becoming a dentist. Add in the fact that she’s been full-time as both a student and an employee for the past two years, and it’s safe to say that Luna is the epitome of the self-motivated achiever.

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But Luna is also an immigrant, having made the dangerous illegal crossing from Mexico as a child and applied for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when the Obama administration created it in 2012. Now, the program is on the chopping block, and Luna is worried about what that could mean for the future she’s worked so hard to build.

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