Documenting the Undocumented: Testimonios de Seres Humanos Ilegales

Laura Ochoa, University of San Francisco


The purpose of this study is to gain greater understanding into the story of “illegal” immigration, while humanizing the issue of those who experience it and its enduring consequences. In so doing, this research seeks to look beyond the broadly articulated claims about undocumented immigrants and shed light on what it really means to be unauthorized in America. This body of research challenges current immigration discourse through personal accounts, by exposing the areas of immigration where understanding is most needed. I use the methodological approach of testimonio to conduct, collect and analyze four testimonio interviews of current undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Towards the endeavor, this study seeks to create a rich narrative of human survival and about the struggles and obstacles undocumented immigrants face within our broken immigration system.