Tracing Points: 5 immigration stories you missed this week

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Tracing Points

Each week, we put you on the map with immigration and transnational culture stories you might have missed throughout the week. And if you’ve come across any articles worth mentioning, write to us or tweet us @SonicTrace_KCRW.

DHS rejects design of California driver’s license for immigrants

Department of Homeland Security officials wrote a letter to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles stating the proposed driver’s licenses for immigrants need a distinct color and a disclaimer that it cannot be used a federal identification. The requirements come from the post-9/11 REAL ID Act, a law to create national identification standards.

“While we are disappointed by this ruling, the DMV will continue to work vigorously with lawmakers, affected communities and federal officials to design a license that complies with federal law,” Armando Botello, a DMV spokesperson, said in a statement Tuesday.

h/t the Associated Press

The federal government reminds public schools they cannot turn away undocumented children

The Justice and Education departments updated guidelines and jointly reminded school districts that they cannot deny enrollment to students living in the country illegally. There have been 17 complaints that led to legal action in the past three years, according to the New York Times. The guidelines include what documents can be used to prove students live in the school district’s vicinity.

Sonic Trace Producer Brian De Los Santos interviews Victoria Dominguez. (Photo: Denise Malone)

Leaving Mexico but returning as tourists 

About 4 million Dreamers, or undocumented youth, are living in the U.S. President Barack Obama has said they’re Americans in their hearts and minds, but not on paper. Because of their legal status, most of them have never returned to their native countries.

Victoria Dominguez, 24, was brought to the U.S. from Mexico at age seven. When her family moved north, she thought she was going on a vacation.

“When I got here, they bought me sugary cereals and all this cool stuff,” she says. “Then a couple days later, it kind of hit me that I wasn’t going back home.”

Listen to her story here.

Coming out as an undocumented immigrant and directing ‘Documented’

Jose Antonio Vargas revealed one of his biggest secrets in a New York Times Magazine article he wrote — Vargas is undocumented. He left his job as a reporter after feeling “depressed” about the situation, and began fighting for immigrant rights. He talks to KPCC about his new film ‘Documented’ and his message about being an undocumented immigrant.

A wave of Mexican films to watch in LA

Hola Mexico Film Festival brings talent, culture and film from South of the border to Los Angeles this weekend. The fifth installment of the film festival highlights a variety of feature films and documentaries, many striving to change stereotypical views of Mexico. In “Who Is Dayani Cristal?,” actor and director Gael Garcia Bernal goes on a journey to find the story of a border crosser.