DACA Poet: ‘I Don't Want to Leave Home’

Image Courtesy of Capital & Main

Poet and social worker Alex Alpharaoh onstage

Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political, and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece.

Guatemala-born Alex Alpharaoh may soon become a man without a country—and without a family. Brought to America when he was three months old, Alpharaoh alone among his immediate family members is not a U.S. citizen, although under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, he has the legal right to remain and work in this country. A social worker, poet, performer, and parent, Alpharaoh has been telling Los Angeles theater audiences about his life as an undocumented immigrant in a solo show called WET: A DACAmented Journey.

But with today's announcement by the Trump administration that it plans to phase out DACA, his life has been thrown into turmoil. A grimly uncertain future now awaits Alpharaoh, who arrived in the United States hidden in the back seat of a smuggler's car. For now all he can do is work and tell his story.

“I'm doing the show three times a week and I spend four days out of the week just trying to live a normal life as much as possible,” he told Capital & Main shortly before the White House's DACA announcement. “At the end of the day, I don't want to have to leave home.”



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