For some undocumented immigrants living in the Los Angeles area who were brought to this country as infants or young children, this country is all they know. The thought of being taken to a land that to them is foreign and where they have no memory of living can be downright frightening.

Yet staying in the country presents its own set of obstacles as one undocumented immigrant knows very well. The 20-year-old found that his opportunities were limited because, among other things, he did not have a green card, Social Security number or valid driver’s license.

The man is someone the Obama administration refers to as a “Dreamer,” or someone who could benefit from the Dream Act that has been proposed. This designation fits because he is currently enrolled in college and his parents brought him to the United States as a child.

He has benefited from deferred deportation proceedings that are part of the proposed Dream Act. A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals work authorization has allowed him to stay in the country where he hopes to eventually graduate from college and become a doctor. He no longer has to worry about not having a Social Security card or driver’s license nor does he need to fear being deported.

The man has even been recognized by President Obama as an example of the potential for undocumented immigrants to positively contribute to our country. During this year’s State of the Union Address he was one of the guests of honor and sat in a special seat near the first lady.

Undocumented immigrants who are interested in similar work permits may wish to speak with an immigration attorney who can advise them on the best way to proceed.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “Undocumented immigrant from Las Vegas to attend State of Union,” Karoun Demirjian, Feb. 11, 2013