Human Development and Family Studies


Collyer, Charles

Advisor Department







The United States’ immigration system is a very complex topic that not many people know about in depth. Although most people hear about it occasionally, through sources like social media, it is not something that crosses many people’s minds too frequently. However, this is not the case for past and present immigrants, who are constantly worried about their immigration status, or their lack of status, in this country. Countless immigrants and their families struggle every day because of our immigration system, and these people represent its hidden realities.

Through this project, I researched the United States immigration system, including the requirements and procedures of obtaining a permanent status in our country, past and present immigration laws, and differences in the immigration policies of the presidential candidates in the most recent election. To expose the hidden realities of our immigration system and to show that there are real people behind the abstract ideas presented in my research, I documented my unforgettable trip to the Arizona-Mexico border and the several personal anonymous immigration stories that were shared with me.

As a country that is fundamentally made up of immigrants, it is our duty to hear these different stories and to understand that the immigration system of the United States has tremendously impacted the lives of many families. Ultimately, it is our civic and moral responsibility to reform and improve our nation’s immigration system, whose roots have been neglected.