One of the people I interviewed before today's immigration rally in Chicago is a man named Javier (he asked me not to use his last name). Javier says he could be deported back to Mexico at any time. It is stories like his that have protesters here demanding immigration reform.
"I cry every day," he told me.
Ten years ago, Javier says, his parents got into a bad car accident in Mexico. At the time, Javier was living in the United States and had applied for a green card. The rules of his application required him to stay in the United States. But Javier took the risk, went to Mexico to see his folks, and on the way back, as he tried to sneak across the border, he got caught.
Javier is married with three teenage kids. He says everyone in his family is a U.S. citizen, except him. He says he worries that sometime soon he will be forced to leave the United States, his home for the past 18 years.
"I'm not a criminal. I'm a father," he said, adding that he made one big mistake. "Only one. I don't know why no one gave me one chance, one opportunity for me, for my family."
Today, Javier says he'll march in Chicago with his wife and three kids. His hope is that he will somehow be able to find a path to citizenship and avoid having to move his family to Mexico.
-- By Keith Oppenheim, CNN Correspondent