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    Posted January 23, 2013 by
    Washington, District of Columbia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

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    Under Deportation, Above Fear


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Medill journalism student and iReporter gidthekid shot and edited this story about the Parras, a mixed-status family who lives in Niles, Illinois. 23-year-old Carolina Parra and her parents are originally from Mexico. Carolina's three younger siblings were born and raised in the United States. When their father was in a car accident, his undocumented status was revealed. Facing deportation, he told a judge that his children needed him, so the judge threw out the deportation order, the family said.

    While Parra's father has been documented, as has her brother, Carolina is still undocumented. She said she felt strongly about sharing her family’s story: 'I feel like people aren't informed about illegal immigration. I feel I could serve a purpose in showing that we are normal people.'

    And for gidthekid, telling this story was important on a few levels. 'I didn’t want it to be a policy story; I wanted it to be very personal,' he said. 'I want them to get a little glimpse of all the things that people never see and possibly take for granted ... like getting a driver’s license, and realize that people go through these things on a daily basis.'
    - zdan, CNN iReport producer

    The Parras are a mixed-status family.

    23-year-old Carolina is an undocumented student at Northeastern Illinois University. She and her parents, Irma and Miguel are originally from Mexico. Carolina’s younger siblings, Danny, 15, Keren, 12, and Josue, 11, were born and raised in the United States.

    In 2011, Mr. Parra got into a car accident, revealing his undocumented status. During the deportation hearing that followed, Danny testified on behalf of his father. After Danny told the judge that he and his siblings needed their father around, the judge tossed out his father’s deportation order.

    Carolina and her siblings are focused on school now.

    Danny, a straight-A student, hopes to participate this summer in an engineering program at Johns Hopkins or Stanford University.

    Josue is still figuring school out, as he attracts the eyes of his female classmates. Despite all the distractions, he is still managing to meet the academic expectations of his family.

    As a mixed-status family, about the only vacation they’ve tried was to the Wisconsin Dells. But according to Carolina, the future is looking bright.
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