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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Now-Legal Immigrant Tuesday, July 8, at 3:50pm in Keyes, OK

Jesus Castillo Carrizales

As the man walked by, Jesus Castillo Carrizales hid in the tall grass, playing a game with his mother. She laid out only one rule: just be quiet. The 6-year-old watched the green uniform and shiny badge glide by, pausing but never approaching, and he tried his best to win the game.

“I didn’t know it was Immigration,” he says now. “It was me and a bunch of others. Back then, I was a kid. I thought it was just fun and games.”

Carrizales is a soft-spoken, bright 24-year-old who just happens to have crossed into the United States illegally. In November, he became one of 83,000 people living in Texas to receive deferred action for childhood arrivals from the U.S. government, meaning that—barring criminal convictions and unlawful travel—he’s allowed to stay in the country in perpetuity.

A 2008 Thomas Jefferson High School graduate, Carrizales dreamed of medical school. But his senior year, as he began applying to colleges and for loans, he ran up against a barrier: he didn’t have a Social
Security number.

“I had to settle for construction jobs or temp jobs, things I didn’t like to do,” he says. “I told myself that I studied hard and I went to school, and that I was going to get something that I liked to do. It wasn’t like that at all.”

Carrizales eventually found his way to the Human Rights Initiative, which helped him with his deferred action paperwork. Now he works at a mill in Keyes, Okalahoma, shuttling between there and his wife’s
parents’ house in Dallas, hundreds of miles north of where he crossed the border, outside Laredo. 

Sitting in a Starbucks in North Dallas, he scrolls through his phone’s photo gallery and flashes a photo of his wife and son.

“[Deferred action] means a better life for them,” he says. “We used to worry about bills. We used to worry about gas money. It’s not like that anymore. I can take my family out and actually provide.”

  • Hello

    DACA does not allow a recipient to “stay in the country in perpetuity.” It is only valid for 2 year and then subject to reapplication and renewal. Please correct this.

  • BradfordPearson

    But, barring criminal conviction or unlawful travel, that application will be renewed. That’s why I used “perpetuity.”