As a member of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and a self-taught photographer, Carla Chavarria, 20, has been capturing images of fellow undocumented youth for about three years. Her parents, who are currently undocumented, brought her to the United States from Mexico City when she was 7. As a kid, she didn’t understand the concept of immigration status. “I grew up in Arizona in a predominantly white neighborhood. I didn’t really know what it meant to be undocumented because I just went to school,” says Chavarria, who received temporary status through President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in February.
But when the federal DREAM Act failed in 2010, Chavarria says she started taking pictures in protest. “Art has always been my passion, and I wanted to do something that could help the movement even though I’m not that into the politics and policy side. That’s why I started the iDREAM campaign—photographing DREAMers and telling their stories. .”