This week, rapper French Montana was sworn in as an American citizen, but his immigration story is not dissimilar to many young immigrants in our country who are still fighting for their right to live in the United States.
Though Montana has now received citizenship, he’s working to make life better for other young people who remain undocumented in America.
“What I want people to know about Dreamers is that they should put theyselves in [their] shoes and see what it feels like, you know, to be locked up without being locked up,” Montana said in a Mic Opinion video with other young immigrants.
Montana came to the United States when he was 13 years old from Morocco. When it came time for him to go to college, he was told he couldn’t go, as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act — the Obama-era program that allowed 800,000 young undocumented immigrants to live, work and go to college in America — hadn’t been implemented yet.
“I see my face in all of y’all ’cause, you know, I came here in ’96, but they didn’t have the DACA program and stuff like that when I came,” Montana said. So, for me, when I got — After 12th grade, they basically just told me I couldn’t go to college.”
Understanding the challenges of living undocumented in America, Montana set up #WeAreTheDream, a campaign with MTV and Get Schooled to help undocumented immigrants attend college.
In the video above, Montana has a conversation with three young immigrants, Denea Randeen, Ivan Ceja and Manuel Lopez, to highlight their stories and bring awareness to the struggles of undocumented young people.