Editor’s Note | February 2018

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Illustration by Martha Napier

When we hear statistics in the news, sometimes it can take a little digging to get to the people and the stories behind the numbers. Such was the case for me when I heard that nearly 1 million in the U.S. are DACA recipients, meaning their legal status is protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Many will start losing that protection in March. We talked to just a few of the 84,000-plus Orange County residents who will be affected, and their stories are compelling.

These young people were brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children. They learned to read and write in Orange County, went to school here, rode their bikes here, and grew into adults who live and work here. This is home—it’s where they’ve established a community. They feel vulnerable and uncertain about their futures, because of “that one paper” they’re missing. They also share their hopes and their commitments to working to get the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act passed into law. A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 86 percent of Americans support “Dreamers.” That’s a tough consensus to reach no matter the subject in these divided times.

Take a look at the stories of these five O.C. residents. They speak of cross-country bike rides, weddings and pets, applying to graduate school, and swimming competitively. I’m inspired by their accomplishments, their spirit, and their dedication. I hope you will be, too.

—Alan Gibbons

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