9 digit story

Karla Peralta

Celebrating the identities of undocumented immigrants.

Thesis Statement

My project aims to showcase who makes up the undocumented community by redefining the 9-digit alien registration number. By creating an interactive exhibition where undocumented immigrants can share their story through 9 questions, I can (1) help celebrate what has shaped the undocumented community and (2) help break the stereotypes of who makes up the undocumented community.


There are about 180,000 undocumented immigrants in Santa Clara County. Some are under DACA(Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Protection or TPS (Temporary Protection Status). However, most undocumented immigrants are living their every day lives in fear of deportation. As “aliens” in this country, they are provided with a 9 digit alien registration number that is used to identify non U.S citizens. However, with this 9-digit number come stereotypes that hinder the reality of who makes up the undocumented community.

Every undocumented immigrant may come to the U.S with the same goal: obtaining the American Dream, however, they all share different stories. We must seek to understand those stories before forming our own opinions. Learning about who really makes up the undocumented community allows us to empathize and learn about their identities. Most importantly, the undocumented community can celebrate their stories.

Research Questions

  1. Why is it important to tell the stories of undocumented immigrants?
  2. How can undocumented immigrants build a better sense of community within their community?
  3. What are the best ways to acknowledge and celebrate undocumented immigrants?


An interactive exhibition that gives undocumented immigrants a platform to tell their stories and learn about other undocumented immigrants in their own community. By participating in this experience, the undocumented community can share what makes up their identity and as a result, dismantle stereotypes associated with being undocumented.

Karla Peralta

Chang Kim—Primary Advisor
Graphic Design Professor, SJSU

Connie Hwang—Secondary Advisor
Graphic Design Professor, SJSU

Ana Navarrette—Tertiary Advisor
Undocuspartan Resource Center Director, SJSU

Brandon Brown Mary Gutierrez Phi Ho Linh Hoang Brandon Huynh Rachel Lee Hefan Lim En Yu Ma Miguel Morejon Dana Nissan Anela Oliveros Sylvia Ow-Yang Ryan Parajas Karla Peralta Sarah Sauerzopf Chako Shinmoto Tanya Shrivastava Wenwen Su Tianting Sun Hung Tsai Thanhthao Van Effy Wang