[Read Thomas Carroll’s companion story – Deferred for the holidays]

The Parras are a mixed-status family.

23-year-old Carolina is an undocumented student at Northeastern Illinois University. She and her parents, Irma and Miguel are originally from Mexico. Carolina’s younger siblings, Danny, 15, Keren, 12, and Josue, 11, were born and raised in the United States.

In 2011, Mr. Parra got into a car accident, revealing his undocumented status. During the deportation hearing that followed, Danny testified on behalf of his father. After Danny told the judge that he and his siblings needed their father around, the judge tossed out his father’s deportation order.

Carolina and her siblings are focused on school now.

Danny, a straight-A student, hopes to participate this summer in an engineering program at Johns Hopkins or Stanford University.

Josue is still figuring school out, as he attracts the eyes of his female classmates. Despite all the distractions, he is still managing to meet the academic expectations of his family.

As a mixed-status family, about the only vacation they’ve tried was to the Wisconsin Dells. But according to Carolina, the future is looking bright.