CARLA IS ONE OF MILLIONS OF YOUNG LATINAS who form the permanent U.S. subculture of the children of undocumented workers. Growing up in the U.S.—“the other side” in the common parlance of Mexico—she is “neither from here nor there,” her life enmeshed in an uneasy truce between mutually dependent peoples.
As a young child, Carla aspires to become a physician, hoping one day to cure her beloved but chronically ill grandfather. Her dream is encouraged by her family’s simple, powerful love as she moves from one academic victory to the next. Yet her family’s legal status—and their hardscrabble efforts to eke out a meager existence—anchors Carla to a fading past even as she forges toward an expectant future. Full of fire and hope after college graduation, Carla faces full force the consequences of her legal status, and her vision of medical school is soon abandoned.
Carla una “Dreamer” forma parte de un grupo de jóvenes indocumentados. Carla ha vivido la mayor parte de su vida en los Estados Unidos (“al otro lado”). De acuerdo a esto, como dicen en México, “Carla no es ni de aquí, ni de allá”. La vida de Carla se ve enredada en un ambiente incómodo y frustrante, porque su sueño no es correspondido ni por el país donde vive ni por el país que la vio nacer.