For immigrants, recent policy changes are personal
Nancy Ayala, right, says she lived in the U.S. undocumented for 10 years.
June 27th, 2012
03:30 PM ET

For immigrants, recent policy changes are personal

By Henry Hanks, CNN

(CNN) - Nancy Ayala arrived in the U.S. 11 years ago, at the age of 9.

"Why did I move to the States? I still don't know. For a better education, for a better life," she said.

One of her biggest dreams was to join the Marines, but at 17, Ayala - the first in her family to graduate high school - discovered that she couldn't enlist because she didn't have a Social Security number.

"I had dreams, but I had no way to complete them," she said. "Sadly, my whole family is undocumented."

Ayala soon moved back to her home country of Mexico but now regrets doing so: "I've been here for 10 months. I cry every night, missing my family, and God knows when I´ll see them again."

When President Obama announced June 15 that some young immigrants would no longer be deported, Ayala was happy. At the same time, she believed the policy change would not help her.

"There's no way back for me. How can I apply? What can I do? Nothing."

Obama's announcement and the Supreme Court's subsequent rejection of all but one provision of a controversial immigration law in Arizona this week have brought the issue back into the spotlight.

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