On Thursday, MTV featured a documentary about an 18-year-old artist and undocumented immigrant named Inocente Izucar, whose father brought her and her brother — "basically kidnapped," she explains — to the U.S. when they were very young. Izucar's childhood struggles with being a homeless, undocumented immigrant constitue the main focus of Inocent, a documentary she agreed to, according to an interview with Teen Vogue, in order to help "put a face" on the issues facing the 1.8 million undocumented children ferried into the U.S. by their parents.
What seems particularly unfair about Izucar's undocumented status is that she had no say in her illegal border-crossing, and so faces legal consequences for the tenuous situation someone else put her in. She explains,
For me, I was brought here not on my own terms, so it's not like I wanted to come to the United States and be undocumented. It's been hard for me because I didn't know that it was a bad thing if you were undocumented. It was hard for my mom to get a job; it was hard for us to find a place to live. It's not easy being undocumented. It makes life ten times harder.
Izucar obtained a visa, so her presence in the U.S. has been legally legitimized (in a few years, she says she can apply for a green card). As for her art, the MTV documentary (which was filmed when she was 15) has given her a lot of exposure, though she thinks her work as an artist might be winding down as the second act of her American life begins. "I have different dreams now," she says. "I still want to do art, but I want to go to college to study sign language and join the circus. Those are my goals."