It’s been nine years since Angela Velazquez last saw her dad. In that time, Angela realizes, she’s inherited a trait that neither she nor her old man particularly wanted—fear.
She felt it that day her little sister didn’t come home, and a young Angela hesitated calling 911 because what if the police took her and her mom? It left her flushed on the side of a street that night a cop discovered she was driving without a license and impounded her car, but left her behind. Six years ago, the fear broke Angela down into panicked sobs when a driver ran a red light and totaled her vehicle. Not because she was hurt, but because she knew the authorities were on their way and was sure this time her luck had run out.
The 27-year-old is one of about 57,000 immigrants thought to be living in Sacramento County without authorization from the U.S. government. Angela came here from Mexico with her parents on a tourism visa when she was about 5. The plan was for her father Alberto to apply for permanent residency and, ultimately, citizenship, but he trusted the wrong lawyer and ended up flagged for deportation.