About six years ago, I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked as a freelance photographer.
I had grown up in Southern California, where my parents were immigrants and my siblings and cousins were undocumented immigrants.
I was excited about being able to travel back to my parents’ homeland and start a new life.
That was my first real hope for the future.
But the reality of being an undocumented immigrant is that even though I am legally an American citizen, I am still subject to U.N. immigration rules that restrict my freedom of movement and affect my ability to obtain the green cards I need to enter the U, such as permanent residency and green cards.
I became an undocumented Mexican citizen in 2017, a decision I made when I was about 21 years old, during a time when my immigration status was at an all-time low.
In 2018, after more than a year of waiting, I received my green card.
Since then, I have been able to stay, visit and work legally in the United States.
Since my legal status expired in 2021, I was able to renew my green cards every three years and to apply for permanent residency.
I have a second child.
My daughter was born in 2019, and she has a green card and a green-card number.
Now, at 32 years old and in her early 20s, I work full-time at a photography studio, which is in the same building as my mother’s studio.
My wife and I are raising our daughter and her two siblings, as well as our adult son and daughter-in-law.
But I still need to find a way to stay here legally.
Since I came to the U., I have spent more than 10 years living here.
In 2016, I became the youngest legal immigrant to become a naturalized citizen, but in 2018, I got the green-cards I needed to enter legally and to work legally.
If I am able to get permanent residency, I would like to be able to work here permanently.
But if I am not able to secure permanent residency because I am a green Card holder, I will be deported, because the rules are so restrictive.
If that happens, I fear that I will never get my green-bills to go back to Mexico.
If they can’t, then I would be deported.
I also fear that my children and grandchildren will become undocumented immigrants when I am no longer able to support them.
I do not know how long I will have to live here legally, and I do know that the legal status will not be renewed until my children turn 19.
I am very grateful to my wife, my children, my daughter and my granddaughter for taking the difficult decision to stay and work here legally and for allowing me to make a decision to be here legally for my children.
What should I do now?
If you have questions about this topic, contact me at [email protected].
I am available to speak to anyone with any concerns or questions about legal immigration.