Fact: The U.S. has about 317 million people.
Fact: If the U.S. suddenly kicked all the undocumented immigrants out of the country, we'd lose a whopping 3.6 percent of our population.
Fact: People call them all sorts of disparaging things and accuse them of taking away opportunities for others.
But then we meet people like Stephanie and Luke. And we have to remind ourselves whatever you call them, they're humans. Just like us.
Luke Hwang: My name is Luke. I'm a 23-year-old first year Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago.
Stephanie Camba: My name is Stephanie Anne Lodera[SP] Camba and I was born in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines.
Luke Hwang: I was born in South Korea in 1990. And I lived a very normal life until the late 1990s, when the financial crisis hit. We lost everything. And we lost any hope for a promising future. When I was filling out college applications, I realized that I was undocumented.
Stephanie Camba: My work with social justice started in high school. Social justice, to me, is the resistance to oppression.
Luke Hwang: When I was in college, I didn't tell anyone that I was undocumented because some people are definitely more judgmental than others. Sharing my story is a social impartment and encouragement. You are able to voice your story and move people to action.
Stephanie Camba: This year, I participated in two different actions. One was at Broadview, Illinois, is where a detention center is located. We had locked ourselves to each other in front of the detention center trying to prevent a bus from leaving with people that were being deported. And, I remembered when we sat down, I just couldn't believe that we actually accomplished it. I continued to cry when I was thinking of my family and thinking of how privileged we are to be together but how that can be taken away any moment just because we're undocumented.
Luke Hwang: What drives me is that I am not the only undocumented immigrant. I am not the only dreamer out there. There are thousands of others, like myself, who are striving for their dreams and sharing their stories out there. I have some advice for people who are undocumented, who are dreamers especially. I want you to come out and share your story.
Stephanie Camba: A lot of us that are undocumented have felt very alone and isolated at one point or another. And when we're together, it's a space for healing; it's a space for community. And it doesn't have to be anybody else's agenda but your own.
Luke Hwang: It is just so empowering beyound belief. And you are able to make a difference. You are able to effect the change. I'm a student.
Stephanie Camba: I'm an artist.
Luke Hwang: I'm a dreamer.
Stephanie Camba: I'm a poet.
Luke Hwang and Stephanie Camba: I am an undocumented immigrant.