The White House released a new report last month that estimates nearly 11 million immigrants are living in the U.S. without papers. A large percentage of those are located right here in the Los Angeles area. Although it can be tough to be undocumented, new programs can help.

One of the biggest programs is deferred action which allows people who qualify who were brought to the country as children to legally live and work in the country for a period of time. California has also passed laws that allows students who are undocumented to pay in state tuition fees at certain colleges and apply for privately funded scholarships.

One immigrant would like to take advantage of these programs. The woman was born in Mexico, but came with her family to the U.S. when she was 3. She applied and was accepted for deferred action status. She recently fought to keep her father in the country after he was stopped by authorities and given a ticket. She went with her father to court to translate for him. She obtained a lawyer for her father who was able to eventually get his tickets dismissed. The woman hopes to one day become an immigration lawyer so she can help others that are in the same situation.

If you would like to learn more about deferred action, and how it can benefit you, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney. An attorney can discuss your options and help you to get the ball rolling.

Source: Santa Monica Daily Press, “Living in limbo: Santa Monica’s undocumented share struggles, dreams,” Ileana Najarro, Sep. 6, 2013