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Counseling Psychology News

Cap Times report spotlights remarkable journey of UW-Madison's Minero

February 06, 2017

UW-Madison’s Laura Minero is featured in the cover story of the most recent Capital Times newspaper.

The report is headlined: “ 'We certainly are afraid': Undocumented children of immigrants hope Trump won’t erase recent gains.”

When she was a child, Minero and her parents immigrated to the United States from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Today, Minero is a Ph.D. student with School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology and an outspoken advocate for immigration reform.

Cap Times reporter Pat Schneider explains how Minero is among “more than 750,000 young people nationally given temporary relief from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA, created through an executive action by former President Barack Obama, has been in the sights of President Donald Trump since his campaign vowed to tighten up immigration policy and enforcement.”

The Capital Times continues: “Since his inauguration on Jan. 20, Trump has issued a series of executive orders that have alarmed immigrants. He focused first on beefing up border security, increasing arrests of people in the country illegally and cracking down on “sanctuary cities.” Then on Friday, Trump went further, temporarily banning entry to the country by people from seven Muslim-majority nations and indefinitely barring refugees from entry. Trump remains under pressure from immigration hawks to cancel DACA. In this environment, Minero and other DACA recipients continue to live with the threat that the provision that allows them to live, study and work in the open will be pulled out from under them.”

“Undocumented, unafraid, unapologetic,” is the rally cry of undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children, Minero tells the Capital Times. The bravado of the phrase undergirds their decision to come out from the shadows of undocumented life. But at times it is more symbolic than actual, she acknowledged.

“We certainly are afraid,” Minero tells the newspaper. “This is the time we need our allies the most. This is the time for people to recognize that the lives we worked so hard to fulfill can be easily taken away. It is time to recognize that this is a real threat.”

In the spring of 2016, Minero was selected as an awardee in the Ford Foundation's 2016 Predoctoral Fellowship Competition. (To learn more, check out this news story). As the Capital Times reports: “Minero’s research focus is the psychological effects of immigration detention in the undocumented transgender community. Typically sent to facilities for their sex assigned at birth where they often are victimized, transgender detainees are sometimes held in solitary confinement. That raises concerns about another set of psychological effects.”

“We only know that information anecdotally; we don’t know the actual mental health impact of what happens in these places,” Minero said.

To learn much more about Minero and immigration policy and enforcement, check out the entire Capital Times report for free on this web page.

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