In recent decades, immigration has become one of the most controversial political issues in the U.S., as politicians consistently promise to stem the ‘crisis’ on the border with Mexico.
But behind the headlines, campaigns and policies, there are human beings, like 24-year-old Iliana Pech Cruz, who has lived in the U.S. almost her entire life.
She was just four months old when her parents brought her to the country from Mexico, but her freedom to stay hangs on a single federal programme - and its future is threatened.
DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals scheme, grants the temporary ability to live and work in the U.S. to ‘Dreamers’, those who came to the country undocumented as children.
“Back then, the border between Mexico and the U.S. was not as strict,” she said. “We moved into just a standard two-bedroom apartment. It wasn’t the best of neighbourhoods, but it wasn’t the worst.”
Growing up, Ms Cruz said she felt like she belonged, lucky enough to speak the language and fit in. But at the age of 16, when she discovered her undocumented status, her sense of identity began to shift.
As she planned for university, her parents told her that she wouldn’t be able to pursue any higher education - a reality that Ms Cruz was forced to accept before DACA was implemented.
“I felt like I wasn't living in a welcoming world anymore, and I had to understand that," she said.