Since coming to the U.S. and overstaying their tourist visas 12 years ago, Genoveva Ramirez Lagunas told her two children the same thing countless illegal immigrants have told their children: Don’t tell anyone about your status. On Sunday, Lagunas found herself standing in front of a microphone in Chicago’s Federal Plaza to tell a crowd of 300 people her story: She explained how she was arrested last month after she was pulled over and the officer realized she didn’t have legal ID. How she spent two weeks in federal immigration detention. And how she was released with a one-year deportation reprieve — but still faces the possibility of being deported after it expires. “I was scared,” Lagunas, 63, who cleans office buildings near Chicago, said of her decision to speak out.

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