How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'That's just the way it is': Attorneys' difficult conversations with immigration clients (Video)

What is it like, day in and day out, to tell people who come to you for assistance that there's slim chance they can adjust their immigration status or their spouse's? Or to explain a difficult choice to hopeful legal residents: You can come out of the shadows and apply for legal status, but if you're denied, you could be deported.

KPCC videographer Julie Platner recently followed two Los Angeles immigration lawyers, Brigit Alvarez and Telemundo legal expert Alma Rosa Nieto, taking in some of the painful conversations they have with clients. Alvarez, after telling one client that nothing can be done for his undocumented wife unless she leaves the country long-term, said it helps to occasionally receive good news about a case. "It's the good news that keeps me going," Alvarez said.

An administrative policy change proposed last Friday by the Obama administration could help mixed-status families with an undocumented spouse or adult child, possibly preventing those who leave the U.S. to seek a visa from being stranded abroad.

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