In fourth grade, Irma Márquez-Trapero packed for a two-year stay in the United States; it was their last resort. When those two years passed, her family did not want to leave; they stayed in the country with lapsed passports and without work eligibility. Suddenly, being undocumented formed their identity.
During her early childhood, Irma lived in a nice community and was raised by two parents who were happily employed. After her brother was born, however, her mother could not find an employer willing to accept a woman with significant family obligations. In an effort to find better opportunities, they planned to move in with Irma’s uncle in the United States.
Despite her many obstacles, Ms. Márquez-Trapero has been incredibly grateful for the opportunities she has had since living in the United States. With her parents working factory jobs at a meatpacking facility and facing the threat of deportation, Irma was inspired to do her best at school and help her family navigate their new world’s language and institutions.
Just before graduating college, Irma received a social security number from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, granting her employment eligibility. However, Deferred Action provides only temporary relief—a two-year program with the option to reapply. Her future in the United States is uncertain, but she is on a path set for citizenship. Ms. Márquez-Trapero has already begun working in the field of immigration law. Through her career, she hopes to carry out her passion of being a role model and advisor to fellow immigrants.
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