Ten years ago, 40,000 teenagers walked out of class to play their part in the biggest protests California has ever seen. They vowed that when they could vote, they would use that power to change immigration laws.
Their promises appeared to fade away along with the MySpace accounts they used to help spread the word of their activism. Since then more than 2 million undocumented immigrants have been deported. On Wednesday, a Supreme Court deadlock in effect denied deportation relief and work permits to more than 4 million immigrants who have been living in this country illegally. The presumptive Republican presidential candidate says he wants to build a wall and increase deportations.
The young people who walked out helped seed the Dreamer movement, yet in recent elections, the participation of millennial Latinos has failed to grow.
But when we caught up with dozens of these now young adults who had walked out of more than 50 schools across Southern California, they said the student walkouts in March 2006 had shaped them in ways still very much alive.
Today they are military veterans, physicians, educators, and policy aides for the mayor of New York and San Jose City Council. Click on their photos to learn more about them.
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity. Photos unless otherwise noted were submitted by the person profiled.
Credits: Angelica Quintero. Sources: Times reporting, Times photography