Undocumented immigrants coming out of shadows to make statement

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Undocumented immigrants come out to face critics in wake of immigration reform. (KTRK)

Undocumented immigrants are coming out of the shadows.

They're taking the ultimate risk: showing their faces and going on camera to tell their stories.

Brenda Lira did something she thought she would never do.

She came out to her friends.

She told them she was undocumented.

"I've been living in fear, not only for myself but for my family, for people that I know," Lira said. "Fear that my parents will be ripped away from me. That I'll be ripped away from them. That I'll be ripped away from the land that I call home for the past 19 years."

The 21-year-old says simply, she was tired of being scared.

"I think it's time for us to be united, to present a strong front, to actually fight for what we want."

She's not alone.

Lira is part of a growing chorus of undocumented immigrants in the u-s who are coming out of the shadows.

People like Valeria Zamora are joining in. She lives with her family in New Orleans.

Five years ago she immigrated to the US illegally from Honduras to work in manual labor.

She doesn't like it when people tell her she should go back.

"This my country, this is my country...It's been my country since I came here, and since I helped rebuild it."

Brenda Lira knows she's a little safer than her counterparts in Atlanta or New Orleans.

She's a dreamer and has deferred action or DACA.

But she's still nervous about her future.

She worries about those who will find out from this interview that she is undocumented.

She hopes one day they just see her as American.

"I think I am the definition of being American. I'm an immigrant. I work for everything I want. I pay my taxes. A lot of us pay our taxes. We find our way to not do anything illegal. We try to follow all the laws except of course coming to this country illegally."

Unfortunately to her critics, that's one thing they may never get past.


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Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationimmigration reformtexas newsHouston

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