Mexican, Undocumented and Mormon

But he found an open door at the home of Guadeloupe Paredes, a Mexican Mormon immigrant who had been inactive in the church for 24 years. She let Isaac speak with her daughters, who decided to be baptized. Paredes says one day, Isaac pulled out a picture of his father.

“When I saw it,” she said, “I recognized Rafael. And I said 'I know this person.'”

In fact, she knew him very well back in Mexico. It turns out Paredes’ father was the Mormon bishop in Mexico City who built the church alongside Isaac’s father and baptized him.

Paredes told Isaac stories about his father. Meeting her opened up a window into his father’s life, and his faith.

“When we let fear take over us, we lose faith, and when we lose faith, we don’t have a future,” Isaac said.

Two years later, Isaac is now applying for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. If approved, he can go to college without fear of deportation.

This report comes with support from PRX and the Open Society Foundations. For more on Isaac’s story, visit Latitude News.

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Read more from the public media collaboration Fronteras: The Changing America Desk at fronterasdesk.org.

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