Madeline's Story: Immigration Politics through the Eyes of A First-Generation Oakland Teen

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KQED's News Education project recently asked local middle and high school students to consider some of the major political issues at play in the 2016 presidential election and describe which ones impact them most. Hundreds of students responded, leaving comments and tweets on our Do Now and Lowdown platforms.

We called it the “My Backyard Campaign” project, and as a follow-up, announced a call-out for students to submit short videos on the topic.

Among the 100 thoughtful submissions we received, one video, in particular, called "My Rift" rose to the top, about an Oakland teenager's very personal experience with America's immigration system.

Madeline, featured in the video, is currently a senior at Oakland Tech High School. The first generation teenager poignantly describes the emotional toll of being separated from her mother, who was deported after overstaying her visa, and the impact of growing up alone. We contacted Madeline and produced a longer follow-up video (above) about her story and her two friends who helped produce the project.


This project is part of a recently launched national civic engagement initiative called Letters to the Next President 2.0. Hosted by KQED and National Writing Project, it's an effort to promote and showcase youth perspectives on election-related issues. Visit the project site to learn more and get involved.