According to a recent Pew Research Center study, there are more than 200,000 undocumented people living in Washington State. Seattle-based immigration attorney Carol Edward says these men, women and children come from all walks of life.
Over the course of her career, Edward has had undocumented engineers and nurses as clients. One undocumented man who hired her was a lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Removing undocumented people from the U.S. was a campaign promise made by President Donald Trump. Edward says this extra attention and focus on immigration is prompting more foreigners who are here legally, to become U.S. citizens.
"Our number of naturalization applications that we're filing has greatly increased, and we're seeing everyone. there aren't just people who are Muslims. We're seeing Irish, we're seeing African, we're seeing Japanese, Mexican. All across the board, people are saying, 'I'm afraid that if I'm not a citizen, somebody might deport me, so I'm just going to take that step,''' says Edward.
In our conversation with Carol Edward, she lays out a few examples of how an undocumented person might find a path to being legal if his or her situation fits certain criteria. Edward also makes a prediction that there will eventually be a lawsuit that deals with this question: If a child is a U.S. citizen, but his or her parents are illegal, is deporting the parents in the best interest of that child?