SAN ANTONIO – Julissa Arce is shifting the focus of conversation when it comes to immigration.
"My Underground American Dream" is a memoir, a personal story Arce wrote about her life.
"At the core, the book is an American story," Arce said. "It's an American story of sort of rags to riches."
Born in Mexico, Arce and her family moved to San Antonio when she was 11.
She went to high school in San Antonio and attended the University of Texas in Austin. While in college, Arce would sell funnel cakes at Market Square on the weekends to help with any financial needs.
During Arce's senior year of college, she got an internship at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street. The internship would later turn into a job. At 27, Arce became a vice president for the company. She did all that while being an undocumented immigrant.
"The question I'm trying to answer through the book is, 'What is the cost of the American dream?" Arce said. "What is the sacrifice and work you have to put into it? What do you have to put into it in order to achieve the American dream?"
Since its release, Arce's book has gotten rave reviews and could soon be the focus of a TV show.
"I'm working to produce it with America Ferrera, to turn my life into a television drama series," Arce said.
Arce is now an American citizen and working as an immigration rights advocate
Her message to people struggling today: Don't give up hope.
"I totally understand the circumstances are very challenging right now," Arce said. "What I always tell young people, especially immigrants, is that we've been under attack before, we've been through so many things, and we can't give up now."
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