Woman living in country illegally shares why she risked it all to come to U.S.

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

TEXAS - Norma, whose last name we are not sharing due to concerns for her safety, hopes that by telling her immigration story, more people will understand why some risk everything for a life in the U.S.

Norma and her family came to the U.S. in 2011 on visas. Norma's daughter eventually became a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Norma said she and her family fled the state of Tamaulipas, where it had become common for women to be kidnapped and never heard from again. 

Travelers are highly discouraged from traveling to Tamaulipas due to the crime there. According to the U.S. Department of State's website, "violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion and sexual assault, is common" in Tamaulipas. The state has a "do not travel" designation, the most severe travel advisory.

"I tell myself, 'Thank God we came here,'" Norma said.

Norma's six children are U.S. citizens, however Norma and her husband are not. She said that the Trump administration's zero tolerance prosecution policy that once included separating families is disturbing.

"It's really hard for us to look at how they are separating these families," Norma said.

She said that the current immigration laws seem to go against people like her.

"It's hard to live day to day with all these anti-immigration laws they are proposing every day,"  Norma said.

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