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Las Vegas woman approved for Deferred Action Program

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 11/21/2012 1:55 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The first wave of young undocumented immigrants is being approved for the federal Deferred Action Program.

Norma Ramirez, 22, was one of the first young undocumented migrants in Nevada to apply for Deferred Action.

“I've been here since I was 5 years old, and I never thought I was different than anybody else,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez quickly realized she didn't have the same opportunities as her peers. Now, she can breathe a little easier.

“I feel like I can actually do all these things that I'm behind on,” she said.

She just received her work permit from the federal government.

“The plan is to work and work and work,” she said.

Her first mission was to get a Social Security card and then went straight to the DMV for a license. The next step is finding a job.

“I don't have any official work experience but I'm ready to start and go, and it's exciting because now I can do these things,” she said.

It's this handful of official papers that make Ramirez more comfortable in the country she calls home.

“One of the funny things is that I'm looking forward to getting a library card because you can't get one without a state ID,” she said.

Hermandad Mexicana helped Ramirez apply for Deferred Action. Yoko Colderon says they've sent the feds more than 1,200 applications. Eighty applicants have been approved, no one has been rejected.

“We feel that our job here in the community has really made an impact in these young people who are willing to have a bright future,” Colderon said.

The permits will be valid for two years.

Ramirez is hoping congress can come up with comprehensive immigration reform before then that includes a plan for young adults like her.

In the meantime she says she's going to work as hard as she can.

“It feels a little intimidating because I feel like I kind of had a stunted growth because of it but I've also kept myself involved and I know I can do these things and I'm just going for it.

Ramirez is studying to be a clinical psychologist and is looking for work in the field of mental health.



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