YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

  • Playlist: Waiting for the Sun

    by Maeven McGovern

    With the weather being so flip floppy recently, I crafted a playlist here to pass the time until those beautiful days where the healing sun is out. With most of the music originating from Africa, take a moment to appreciate and ponder your ancestors.

    Yègellé Tezeta – Mulatu Astatke

    Bul ma miin – Orchestra Baobab

    Cheikh Lô – M’beddemi

    Saye Mogo Bana  – Issa Bagayoyo

    1Er Gaou – Magic System

    Paulette – Balla et ses Baladins

     Marijata – I Walk Alone

    Dissan Na M’bera – Super Mama Djombo

    Umalali, The Garifuna Collective – Mérua

    AfroCubism – Jarabi

    The post Playlist: Waiting for the Sun appeared first on YR Media.

  • How To: Promote Yourself As an Artist

    by Noah

    If you’re a new artist and feel your work isn’t getting the exposure it should, it’s probably because you suck at promoting yourself. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean your music sucks — you just haven’t tapped into the secrets of the current music industry landscape to help optimize your audience engagement. It’s important to know all the tools you need to become a successful artist.

    Now artists can easily upload their music to streaming platforms thanks to widely accessible services like DistroKid or Tunecore. Additionally, by strategically harnessing the power of social media you can promote yourself, build a strong brand and even make money from your music without having a label’s support. Getting your music out to the world is probably the easiest part of being an artist, as long as you figure out how to make people pay attention. In this article, I’ll be putting you on game with some essential tips to help promote yourself. Apply these self-promotion tips and tricks, and you’re sure to see your engagement grow and numbers go up.


    How can artists promote themselves and build a following if they don’t have any work to show for themselves yet? Content comes in many forms including graphics, music, collaborations, performances and more. One of the best ways to promote yourself is to consistently put out content. Be actively visible. Each time you put out content that is either showcasing your work or is related to your work, you are continuing to build your platform and grab the attention of new people. Even if you aren’t ready to share your final project or piece of art in whatever form it may be, you can get creative with the types of content you are posting to continue to build engagement.


    Working with other artists is another strategic way to develop a solid foundation and promote yourself. It also helps you reach audiences that you might not reach on your own. If you and another artist have slightly different fan bases, collabing would allow both of you to gain a mixture of your supporters. It’s a win-win situation. A developing artist can also gain another level of exposure when they collab with an artist with an even bigger fan base. This type of co-sign exposure has been happening in the music industry for years. Have you ever heard a song by one of your favorite artists and noticed that it featured someone that lightweight slaps that you haven’t heard before? Then you go to their page and check out their music? This is what I’m talking about. Collaborating with other artists can be one of the quickest ways to get more organic exposure. If you’ve never collaborated with an artist, be sure to check out our in-depth article that breaks it down.

    Social Media:

    As an artist, you should be as active on social media as possible because it can be an easy way to promote yourself and your brand. You should be actively posting on your social media so the fan base you’re building up has something to consume. It may seem like an easy task but in reality, for some, it can be pretty hard to post content every single day. But if you can get into a routine of engaging your followers on social media in a way that feels natural to your brand, you’ll gain new followers and create a platform that your audience wants to visit on a daily basis. Using social media in a creative way is just as important, taking advantage of features like the Instagram Stories questions sticker, for example, allows you to engage with your followers, conduct voting polls and even post full music videos and interviews to your profile with Instagram TV.

    Social media can also be used as a strategic business tool in helping you promote your brand and track your promotional progress. A business profile means people can contact you through email, and phone for more professional inquiries, but you also unlock Instagram Insights. This allows you to track your fan engagement, promote with ads, impressions, audience demographics and more. These are all features that will help improve your social media presence.


    Because it takes time to build a strong and engaged fan base as a new artist, it can be difficult for new artists to book shows when starting out. However, performances are a great way to gain more exposure, so as an up-and-coming artist, it is your job to hustle and build relationships to get those placements. A good way to start this process is to network, tap in with people like local DJ’s, bloggers and photographers — let them know what you got going on, and reciprocate the love and support that they show you. Promoting yourself is a lot about the connections you make and the impressions you leave, so put your best foot forward.


    Every successful artist should have a great graphic designer on deck and strong graphics to support their brand. In the current music market, visuals can be just as important as the music itself. If it’s for events, projects, singles, etc., make sure it looks good! Artists should be selective when using a graphic artist — make sure they are a good creative fit. It’s usually the first impression a listener gets when scrolling on a streaming platform or social media. Cover art should tell the listener a story of what they are about to hear or reel them in to check out your music. This also goes for promotional material. If you’re performing at an event or headlining your own show, the flyer should look captivating. Graphic designers can help set you apart by creating logos for you, this will take your artistry to the next level. A clear unique aesthetic is important for the development of your artist brand, which will also help with self-promotion. When fans see that specific logo and aesthetic they’ll know who is behind it and that is how branding works. The more people that see your logo the more they’ll remember you.
    The post How To: Promote Yourself As an Artist appeared first on YR Media.

  • Opinion: Ralph Northam is the Fall Guy for America’s Racism

    by Paula

    Virginia’s government casts more white men in blackface than “Tropic Thunder.” Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, it’s anyone’s guess who’s next.

    Thus far, the governor has been comically self-incriminating. He admitted to donning blackface to impersonate Michael Jackson, while putting on an encore performance as Shaggy —  saying that the man in another blackface photo wasn’t him. Yet aside from his makeup and moonwalk, there is nothing extraordinary about Northam’s racism.

    Most white Americans voted for Donald Trump, a man with a decades-long track record as a racist. As recently as 2012, most Americans were found to have an anti-black bias. And even Democratic standard-bearer Joe Biden suggested you need a slight Indian accent to go to Dunkin’ Donuts and 7/11.

    When you place Ralph Northam and Herring in context, they look much less like extreme outliers than cogs in a smoothly-run, racist corporation. It was merely to save themselves that Northam’s co-conspirator coworkers turned on him.

    Over the last week, there have been bipartisan calls for Northam’s resignation, but much of this hand wringing and moral outrage is disingenuous. Like Touré criticizing R. Kelly’s predation or Eric Schneiderman prosecuting men for misconduct, many of the politicians calling attention to Northam’s wrongdoing hope to obscure their own crimes.

    Until 2016, Virginia state government enforced racist voter discrimination laws that originated in Jim Crow. The policy used one discriminatory system (anti-black policing) to drive another (racialized disenfranchisement).

    These kinds of prejudiced, anti-democratic policies have largely been used to erode the gains of the civil rights movement. The state also still maintains Confederate memorabilia on public lands, even after the deadly neo-Nazi Charlottesville attacks. This is the mundane racism that haunts many black people’s lives daily. It is as insidious as it is brutal. Yet the people who uphold this order consider themselves to be “non-racist” because they call on Northam to step down.

    This is a game of misdirection. The trick is to set the bar for racism so high — at the peak of a Klan hood, perhaps — that nearly everyone falls below it.

    “My experience in this world has been that the people who believe themselves to be white are obsessed with the politics of personal exoneration,” Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in “Between the World and Me.” “And the word racist, to them, conjures, if not a tobacco-spitting oaf, then something just as fantastic  —  an orc, troll or gorgon.” 

    To this list, you can add a man dressed in blackface in a medical school yearbook. Blackface is as blunt as it is antiquated. And its relative rarity makes it a safe form of racism to denounce. Like polio, most Americans know it existed in the 20th century, it was bad and that they don’t want it anymore.

    And because blackface is so outside the norm, it makes for an awful barometer of modern racism. Yet our country continues to operate on a rubric created over 50 years ago —  a period when racial epithets and “whites only signs” were still ubiquitous. While this type of blunt bigotry is no longer in vogue, we still use it to serve as one of the only baseline forms of discrimination we publicly decry.

    “Somebody has to call us a nigger, or someone has to shoot down an innocent 12-year-old child or someone has to massacre nine black people in a church to remind us of the ugliness of our past and present,” Princeton Prof. Eddie Glaude Jr. writes in “Democracy in Black.” “Otherwise, the nation is unconcerned with the problems of black America.”

    Today, America isn’t tormented by the bigots we like to sensationalize, but by huge groups of regular, everyday racists. These racists are citizens who have a deep-rooted and unchecked racial bias. It’s time we acknowledge they are the problem.

    Northam and Herring are not lone wolves, just dogs in a pack. They were merely doing what people in power often do —  ridiculing the Others to reaffirm themselves. They were using the cruel and insensitive humor of whiteness to shore up their own identity. Yes, blackface and Klan hoods are crude and hurtful symbols of racism, but let’s not be mistaken, they’re not disconnected from the more subtle and discrete practices of white supremacy.

    This regular prejudice permeates throughout the United States daily. Educators exercise it when they discriminate against black preschoolers. Loan officers apply it when they discriminate against black mortgage seekers. Business owners apply it when they discriminate against job applicants. Everyday racism is everywhere. The only thing that differentiates it from Ralph Northam’s is that it’s not executed while wearing shoe polish.
    The post Opinion: Ralph Northam is the Fall Guy for America’s Racism appeared first on YR Media.

  • I Watched Both Fyre Documentaries So You Don’t Have To

    by Merk

    Netflix and Hulu released separate films within days of each other in January 2019 that are both about the #epicfail of a big musical shindig on a tropical island involving some white dude. I didn’t know much beyond that and quite honestly, I wasn’t too far off.

    If you’re interested in Fyre but not game enough to spend more than three hours of your life watching two movies about it like I did (!) — here’s what I learned from both films and which one I think is best.

    Both documentaries highlight how 27-year-old William “Billy” McFarland scammed hundreds of people into buying tickets for Fyre Festival, a Coachella-esque event in the Bahamas. Fyre was scheduled to happen over the course of two weeks in Spring 2017. Gourmet meals, luxury lodging options and the chance to see big-name musicians were all part of the package offered to prospective attendees.

    Ultimately, both films reveal the many reasons for the festival’s downfall and McFarland’s eventual debt of more than $25 million, which led him to be sentenced to six years in federal prison. 

    So how and why did Fyre get as far as it did without burning to the ground from the very beginning? Keep reading!

    Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Netflix)

    The Netflix documentary opens with a shot of a beautiful island. The music playing underneath has a mystical and tropical vibe to it.

    Since this was the first of the two movies I watched, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the camera filters were gorgeous so I was hooked. Names of the film’s production team fade on and off screen. Then McFarland is mentioned as Fyre Festival’s co-founder (the other co-founder being rapper Ja Rule).

    The first batch of interviewees suggested something bad was about to go down. There was a hint of disappointment in all their voices, but one interview in particular sent me mixed signals. A little after the two-minute mark, event producer Andy King says, “I hope Billy [McFarland] doesn’t go to prison for [his actions], but I don’t know.” That made me unsure of how I should feel toward McFarland. A little sympathetic, maybe?

    Something else that stuck out was how much raw footage was included in the doc, which was captured in the moment as Fyre Festival’s organizers were trying to put it together. I liked that element because it really helped me see how Fyre got as far as it did, and almost felt as if I was watching the event planning process happen in real time.

    A big detail I missed until I read this article on Insider is that a handful of the interviewees on camera were also co-producers of the documentary itself. This was questionable considering those particular people also worked for Jerry Media, the same organization Fyre hired to market the festival — an integral part of how the festival was able to generate so much buzz in the first place.

    Fyre Fraud (Hulu)

    The Hulu documentary felt more like a critical analysis of the Fyre Festival rather than a documentary about how it came to be. The opening sequence showed white text on a black background with tense music playing underneath. I got an exposé vibe from the first five minutes (and from the title of the film itself).

    The focus was clear: McFarland pulled a big oopsie and we’re going to learn why so many people believed in Fyre, even if it was doomed to fail from its inception. Overall, the film took a comical approach to millennial/social media culture and its contribution to the festival’s failure.

    Journalists from publications like The New Yorker, ProPublica and Mic made up a solid portion of the interviewee cast. Not to mention McFarland’s model girlfriend Anastasia Eremenko, who reads letters he wrote to her from prison, and McFarland himself.

    Now, McFarland’s inclusion is causing controversy because The Ringer found out the Hulu documentary paid him for that interview and raw footage. This creates an ethical dilemma for the “Fyre Fraud” filmmakers, who have been criticized not only for paying a source (a no-no in journalism) but also a person who defrauded other people of money (as seen in both documentaries). 

    It’s not clear exactly how much McFarland was paid, but the film’s director told The Ringer it was “less than $250,000.”

    Overall Thoughts

    All in all, there’s a lot of shady shit that went down in the event itself and how it was documented in both films. Putting the drama aside, I was entertained by both productions as much as I was SMH in cringey disbelief. What I appreciated about watching each of them was how they captured the importance of social status for today’s young people.

    Between the two, I’d recommend watching the Hulu doc, since it’s more critical of Fyre (and doesn’t seem quite as shady as the Netflix movie in terms of how it was made). But both Netflix and Hulu should have known that paying the people who made Fyre happen — whether that’s Jerry Media or McFarland himself — was bound to get them burned.
    The post I Watched Both Fyre Documentaries So You Don’t Have To appeared first on YR Media.

  • The Narrative of Public Criticism

    by ethanz

    Joy Buolamwini, a doctoral student at the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab, and Deborah Raji, an undergraduate at the University of Toronto, released an important piece of research on January 25, an analysis of commercial facial analysis tools that indicated that most of these tools perform better on white male faces than they do on black female faces. Specifically, Buolamwini and Raji tested to see whether machine learning models could identify […]

  • Opinion: If You Could Sign Northam and Kavanaugh’s Yearbooks Now

    by Desmond Meagley

    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are aligned with different political parties but have something big in common: yearbooks that haunt them.

    So far Gov. Northam, a Democrat, is refusing to resign after a racist photograph surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. The photo pictures a man in blackface, smiling next to someone in Ku Klux Klan garb. Northam initially apologized for appearing in the picture but later denied he was in it. He has admitted to appearing in blackface — just not on this particular occasion. 

    Justice Kavanaugh’s yearbook trouble hit after President Trump nominated him for the United States Supreme Court. At his confirmation hearings last fall, Justice Kavanaugh was called upon to explain a series of cryptic references — allegedly related to sex, flatulence and drinking — that appeared on his high school yearbook page from 1983. 

    All this yearbook drama has me thinking: What if you could sign their yearbooks now?  Tweet us @itsYRmedia with your ideas, hashtag #YearbookSigning.

    A YR Media resident designer imagines: If Gov. Ralph Northam or Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked you to sign his yearbook, what would you write? (Illustration: Desmond Meagley)

    The post Opinion: If You Could Sign Northam and Kavanaugh’s Yearbooks Now appeared first on YR Media.

  • Affirmative Action As We Know It Could Change. Here’s What to Know.

    by Youth Radio Interns

    Two cases targeting affirmative action are making their way through federal court. An organization representing Asian-American students, called Students for Fair Admissions, is suing Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for allegedly discriminating against Asian-Americans in their admissions process.

    The Harvard trial concluded in November 2018, but it’s still awaiting a final judgment. Meanwhile, in the UNC case, both sides have filed dueling legal motions asking the judge to bypass a trial.

    Both cases have the potential to go to the Supreme Court and even bring an end to race-based college admissions.

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the headlines around these complex cases. Here are the main takeaways you should watch for as they continue.

    1. Going to the Supreme Court is NOT a done deal for these affirmative action cases

    Both sides of the Harvard case have said they plan to appeal the judge’s decision in District Court, regardless of what she does. But an appeal doesn’t guarantee a direct line into the Supreme Court. “Everyone in the media says this case is destined for the Supreme Court,” said Vikram Amar, dean of the University of Illinois College of Law. “The Supreme Court takes very, very, very few cases.” Amar pointed to Fisher v. University of Texas, another challenge to affirmative action that the Supreme Court heard only three years ago. Given how recent that case was, the Court may not take up the Students for Fair Admissions cases. Instead, the Justices may wait and see if colleges will experiment with new approaches to race-based admissions. 

    2. Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s position is unknown — and it might be a surprise

    If the challenges to affirmative action do get taken up by the Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh might end up being the deciding vote. Justice Anthony Kennedy surprised people by voting to uphold affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas, and Amar says Kavanaugh may do the same.

    “Now, I don’t know that Brett Kavanaugh will feel the same way that Justice Kennedy did about this. But I don’t think that Brett Kavanaugh would relish the notion that one of the first big cases that he hears as a justice would be to be the fifth vote to make such a major change, in such an important area of law,” Amar said.

    3. The UNC and Harvard cases are significantly different

    Although the same party is responsible for both lawsuits, the two lawsuits make different arguments. The Harvard case is claiming that Asian applicants are disadvantaged compared to white applicants, but this suit does not go into the benefits that African-American and Latino applicants receive. On the other hand, the UNC case argues that both white and Asian applicants are unfairly burdened by the advantages given to underrepresented minorities. “[The UNC case is] a more old-fashioned attack on affirmative action,” Amar said. “The Harvard case is more exotic than the North Carolina case. If the North Carolina case gets to the Supreme Court, it is more likely to serve as a vehicle for the court to consider affirmative action as a whole”.

    4. Asian students in the Harvard case are making a unique argument — that Harvard is lowering their rankings based on likability

    While Harvard admissions officers consider grades, extracurricular activities and SAT or ACT scores, the Harvard trial revealed that they also consider “soft variables.” This can include an applicant’s general likability and leadership skills.

    Having observed the trial, Amar questions why Asians, as a group, score significantly lower in the soft variables. “It’s hard to understand why as a group, [Asian-American applicants] would fare worse on those criteria unless there’s some implicit stereotyping bias going on,” he said.

    5. Harvard doesn’t get a pass for being a private school

    Previous challenges to affirmative action have targeted public universities, such as University of Michigan, University of Texas and UC Davis. Public schools are governed by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits racial bias in public universities. However, Harvard does receive federal funding.

    “Congress passed Title VI that tells any university that receives public federal funding — which means any university, since public and private receive federal funding — that they have to also refrain from discrimination on the basis of race,” Amar said.

    6. What about diversity when it comes to socioeconomic class?

    A common argument against race-based admissions pushes for class diversity over racial diversity. However, even within the same socioeconomic class, black and Latino students are less likely to graduate than white students. “So a poor person of color has an even stronger headwind in front of her than a poor white person. If you really want racial diversity in higher education, we’re not yet at the point where there’s really any good substitute,” said Amar.

    7. So … should Asian-Americans be nervous about marking their race on college applications?

    Well, it depends on the school. Professor Amar is a dean at the University of Illinois. “I don’t think here at the University of Illinois, there would be any statistical or other data to suggest that Asian-Americans are being biased in the undergraduate admissions process. But, you know,, the admissions process doesn’t have nearly as many subjective inscrutable criteria as the Harvard process does,” Amar said.

    The post Affirmative Action As We Know It Could Change. Here’s What to Know. appeared first on YR Media.

  • The 21 Savage Petition Isn’t the Only Proof Americans Support Immigrants

    by Denise Tejada

    A rapper’s possible deportation is proving a bigger point: most Americans want undocumented immigrants to have a way to stay in the U.S. legally, according to recent polling.

    Rapper 21 Savage was arrested over the weekend and placed under deportation proceedings for allegedly overstaying his visa, according to news reports.

    The rapper, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was brought to the United States from the U.K. as a child, according to his lawyer in an interview with NBC News. When he arrived, Abraham-Joseph’s family had visas, but when they expired he and his family continued to stay in the U.S., his lawyer said.

    Most fans assumed 21 Savage was originally from Atlanta, a city he’s closely associated with.

    The rapper could face deportation and a 10 year ban from entering the U.S.

    21 Savage is best known for his hit songs “X,” “Bank Account” and “Rockstar” in collaboration with Post Malone.

    Since his arrest, there’s been an outpouring of support from artists and fans asking he be released. Black Lives Matter and United We Dream, along with other advocates, created an online petition, #Free21Savage, demanding ICE officials stop deportation proceedings and release the rapper immediately. As of today, the petition has more than 170,000 signatures.

    This overwhelming support towards an undocumented immigrant reflects how Americans feel on the issue of immigration. The vast majority of Americans — 81 percent — support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., according to a recent Gallup Poll. 

    Here are some more interesting findings from Gallup:

    61 percent oppose deporting all undocumented immigrants back to their home country.60 percent oppose significant new construction on border walls.75 percent favor hiring more Border Patrol agents.
    The post The 21 Savage Petition Isn’t the Only Proof Americans Support Immigrants appeared first on YR Media.

  • Playlist: Alt State of the Union

    by Rohit Reddy

    The time of year has come where the president is finally going to tell us his plan for the year. Personally, I’ve never been one to watch these, but this year I have another reason as to why I don’t want to. The current state of the U.S. government is saddening to the highest degree. The fact that we are coming off the longest shutdown in history, to the SOTU, feels like an extra slap in the face. The current president is willing to endanger the well being of hundreds of thousands of people with government jobs for the sake of his temper tantrum. I created this playlist as an alternative way to spend your time instead of supporting the current mess that is our government. Some of these songs are here to just make you feel good, and some are here to help bear a reminder to the unity that we as a people should hold together during these stressful times.


    BlackStar & Common – Respiration

    Sam Cooke – Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen

    Kendrick Lamar – PRIDE.

    Reflection Eternal & Vinia Mojica  – Blast

    The Pharcyde – Runnin’

    Ms. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)

    J Dilla – Fuck The Police

    Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy

    Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y

    Jill Scott – Can’t Wait

    The post Playlist: Alt State of the Union appeared first on YR Media.

  • I’m an Immigrant with DACA Who Supports Trump. Surprised?

    by Denise Tejada

    If you watch Fox News, you might have seen 26-year-old Hilario Yanez.

    The young conservative has been on air several times in the last year, discussing his support for President Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall and other aspects of Trump’s immigration policy.

    Those aren’t unusual viewpoints for a conservative. But what is unusual?

    Yanez is an immigrant himself. His mom brought him here illegally from Mexico when he was 1. Undocumented immigrants like him — who were brought to the U.S. as children — have sometimes been called “Dreamers.”

    Yanez is now only able to work legally in the U.S. because of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Obama-era program gave Dreamers like Yanez the chance to apply for a two-year, renewable work permit and to live free from the fear of deportation.

    The fate of DACA recipients has been a major point of contention between Republicans and Democrats, with the Trump administration calling for a complete end to the DACA program last year, a decision the courts overturned.

    Recently, Trump offered Democrats a three-year extension of DACA — but not a path to citizenship for DACA recipients — in exchange for funding for the border wall. Democrats rejected the offer.

    YR Media spoke with Yanez about how you can be undocumented but pro-wall.

    (Photo courtesy Hilario Yanez)

    YR Media: What opportunities has DACA given you?

    Hilario Yanez: When I heard about DACA, I completely started crying and I knew it was going to be my only shot at living the American dream. I immediately applied for it. Having DACA allowed me to have a Social Security [card], a work permit and I was able to pay my way through college. Now I’m a first-generation college graduate and I worked for a Fortune 500 company. If it wasn’t for DACA, I don’t know how I would have had the opportunities I was able to have. So it was life changing and I’m always going to be forever grateful for DACA.

    YR Media: As someone who really benefited from DACA, what do you think of it?

    HY: We knew this was only temporary status and we knew that the next president or any other president could easily get rid of it. It wasn’t a permanent solution and so now, this is where we stand. You have President Trump trying to remove DACA. I think he has every right to do that and I think he should. [DACA] is unconstitutional and I think we need to find a permanent solution at this point.

    YR Media: You’re saying that Trump should end DACA and that obviously would impact you a lot. Doesn’t that worry you?

    HY: When he removed DACA, he said, “I want to take [DACA] because it wasn’t done correctly and I want Congress to fix it.” And right now, that’s exactly what I want. I want a permanent solution. I don’t want a temporary status where I have to plan every two years. It’s frustrating. That’s the issue you’re seeing with TPS [Temporary Protected Status] right now. TPS was supposed to be temporary status, but we kept renewing it, kept renewing it, and now we’re in this limbo where we don’t know what to do now. We need to find a permanent solution for DACA. The moment the Supreme Court rules on DACA and says it’s unconstitutional, everybody is going to run to the table and want to try to fix this, as soon as possible.

    YR Media: What’s your stance on immigration in general?

    HY: I’ll say this, in order to have immigration reform you need to have some kind of immigration control. I think that we need to upgrade our immigration and have more opportunities for people to come to the U.S. the right way and be here lawfully. I think right now there’s a perfect opportunity to have border security in exchange for a permanent solution for DACA recipients. I think that’s a quick win and it’s an easy win that most Americans agree with. Let’s talk about the rest of the immigration community because it’s also an issue there. People like my aunt, my mom, people who are good immigrants, who are contributing and are helping the economy grow and that have not broken a law. They’re law-abiding citizens, people that love this country. There’s always that misconception that the rest of the nine million, 10 million [undocumented] immigrants, [they] all want to be citizens tomorrow and I think that’s just a false idea. They just want peace. They want to remain here in this country without the fear of deportation.

    YR Media: Why are you a conservative and what appeals to you about this administration?

    HY: I believe in working hard. I believe in God. I believe in standing on your own two feet. Ronald Reagan said it best: “Government is not the solution. Government is the problem.” We need government less in our lives. I’ve gotten this far without handouts or at least [without] help from the government. I think the Republican Party needs to do a better job of reaching out to the Hispanic community. I’m so tired of seeing the Hispanic community being represented by Anglo-American people that really don’t understand our issues.

    YR Media: Why do you think we need a wall?

    HY: I think the president has emphasized [the wall] a little too much. I think at the end of the day there [are] some areas where we do need barriers. I think the Democrats have voted for this in the past. I think the key issue is that the president has made [the wall] his priority and his promise. 

    YR Media: Does Trump’s flakiness worry you? I say that because Trump has gone back and forth with an offer of citizenship to DACA recipients last year, but this year no offer like that is on the table yet.

    HY: I think he’s a deal maker. I also feel strongly that in his heart he’s really for the DACA community. He really supports us. I think he’s a father first and I think he would love to get this fixed.

    YR Media: What kind of response have you gotten after being on Fox, in particular from the Latino community?

    HY: It is really surprising because there’s a lot of [conservatives] that are like, “Man, I used to be like anti-amnesty and I used to be, ‘All Dreamers are Democrats and all Dreamers want citizenship,’ and now I’m not.” I was able to open their minds and kind of touched their heart as well, so that’s one aspect. Now in terms of the Latino community, I’m getting called a traitor. I’m like, wait a minute, first of all, I’m trying to get a solution brought to the table.

    YR Media: How would you answer people who might see you on Fox and say you’re being used by the right as a kind of token Latino who supports the conservative viewpoint on immigration?

    HY: First of all, I’m not getting paid by anybody to say these things. No one is influencing my mind. I know there are real theories out there that I’m not getting paid under the table to say these things. I’m taking it all in as an opportunity to be at the table and to have my voice heard.  I’m just grateful. I’m not being influenced. I’m not being used as a token. At the end of the day I can say, “I don’t want to do this,” but I think this is a perfect opportunity to change people’s lives.
    The post I’m an Immigrant with DACA Who Supports Trump. Surprised? appeared first on YR Media.