Courtesy of Luciana
The immigration package President Barack Obama is poised to announce is highly controversial — and we don't even know the full plan yet. But it's assumed he will protect the parents and spouses of US citizens from deportation.
One person who would be affected by such a move is Luciana of Norwalk, Connecticut. She asked us to use just her first name, because of her immigration status. Luciana is undocumented and has lived in the US for 16 years. She has two children, both US citizens, ages 7 and 17. She says not having the threat of deportation hanging over her head would be unbelievable.
"I would be able to go to school. I'll be able to give a better life to my children," she says. "I can go and apply at a job in any place. I'll be able to drive a car without being scared. I'll be able to do so many great things."
Right now, Luciana works at a restaurant. She says it's nothing fancy. But food is her passion.
Courtesy of Luciana
Luciana arrived in the US on a tourist visa and has stayed here ever since. But her tenuous place in the US isn't really something she talks about with her kids. "I try not to talk to them directly about the possibility of us getting deported, or if something bad happens. I don't talk to them about that. I just talk to them about how great this country is and how great the president could be if he were doing better for all immigrants."
Luciana says it has been hard living all these years with the knowledge she could be deported at any time. There's also the fear that she could be separated from her children at any moment. "It's scary," she says. "Terrifying. Very, very terrifying. I don't wish that on nobody. That's not an easy way to live. I get very emotional about the subject because my kids are everything. And they only have me to provide for them. And I don't even think a child could imagine being separated from their parents because of some law."
In the 16 years she's been here, she's tried to normalize her status. She's tried to work with an immigration lawyer, but she says it takes money. Money she doesn't have and can't afford. "I'm underpaid. I cannot get the job of my dreams. I can't provide correctly for my family."
And that dream job? A pastry chef. Maybe it's finally in reach.
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