Laura Wides-Muñoz is the author of The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to be American (Harper). The book is based on more than a decade of reporting on immigration, much of it done while Wides-Muñoz was a staff writer for The Associated Press. She conceived of the idea during a 2013 Harvard University Nieman Foundation for Journalism fellowship.
They are often called the DREAMers: young people who were brought, or sent, to the United States as children and who have lived for years in America without legal status. Growing up, many worked hard in school, planned for college, only to learn they were, in the eyes of the United States government and many citizens, "illegal aliens." Determined to take fate into their own hands, a group of these young undocumented immigrants risked their safety to "come out" about their status—sparking a transformative movement, engineering a seismic shift in public opinion on immigration, and inspiring other social movements across the country. The Making of a Dream begins at the turn of the millennium, with the first of a series of "Dream Act" proposals. It follows the efforts of policy makers, advocates, and undocumented immigrants themselves, concluding with the 2016 presidential election and the first year of the Trump presidency. In telling their story, Wides-Muñoz forces us to rethink our definition of what it means to be American.
Through Wides-Muñoz’s presentations, audiences can take in a new perspective on the next chapter in civil rights: immigration. From the Dream Act to the broader immigration and undocumented youth movement, Wides-Muñoz shares her insights from her experiences as a journalist.
Previously, Wides-Muñoz served as Vice President for Special Projects & Editorial Strategy at Univision’s English-language Fusion Network and as a senior story editor for the network's TV and digital investigative teams. She has reported from Cuba and throughout Central America and has been published in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among other outlets. Wides-Muñoz has won the Associated Press Managing Editors national award for beat coverage and multiple Society of Professional Journalists awards.
Currently, she resides in Washington, D.C. with her family.
Praise for The Making of a Dream:
“A sweeping chronicle of the immigrant rights movement… Wides-Muñoz expertly describes the broader reform movement, through vivid thumbnail portraits of key students… She reminds us that thanks to the ability of young people to dream, what seems impossible today may yet prove achievable tomorrow.”
--The New York Times
“Poignant… An eye-opening exploration of the DREAM Act and those who have tried to find safe harbor in the United States under its aegis. A well-crafted, timely contribution to the immigration debate.”
“The Making of a Dream is an indispensable book to understand how the Dreamers became the leaders of a new civil rights movement in this country. Here’s the incredible story of how a group of young immigrants conquered their fears, put two Presidents on their side and, in the process, changed this nation forever. This is a must read to understand the new America.”
--Jorge Ramos, Emmy Award-winning Univision News Anchor and Fusion TV host, author, and syndicated columnist
“Deeply reported, empathetic, and beautiful, The Making of a Dream is the definitive account of the moral drama that created a new group of Americans and empowered them to call on their country to live up to its ideals.”
--Alexis Madrigal, staff writer at the Atlantic
“An intimate look at the complicated lives and remarkable aspirations--thwarted and fulfilled--of people searching for a way out of a peculiar historical trap. The Making of a Dream is, in turns, inspiring, heartbreaking, hopeful, and maddening…just as it must be.”
--Ray Suarez, author ofLatino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation
“Powerful. Evocative and illuminating. A deeply empathetic look at those caught between two worlds and who risk losing everything in a time of deceitful political rhetoric. Read it.”
--Alfredo Corchado, author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness
“A necessary and exciting book about five young people whose dreams and struggles are interwoven with this country’s best hopes for itself. This is also the story of the legislators, activists, and ordinary citizens who stand behind them, and of the very slow grinding of the wheels of justice.”
--Alma Guillermoprieto, author of Dancing with Cuba: a Memoir of the Revolution
“Essential… A valuable and detailed look at lawmaking and policy that affect people and communities across the nation as well as portraits of heroic youth willing to put their own status in jeopardy to advocate for fair treatment, not only for themselves and their families but for all immigrants.”
“Eye-opening… Poignant… A well-crafted, timely contribution to the immigration debate.”
“This inspiring, well-written, well-documented account is an important read for Americans on all sides of this lingering issue.”