TEMPE, AZ - This is a story about a family who had no intention of living the rest of their lives in the United States. But imagine having to choose between getting the medical care your child needs and leaving the country you aren't in legally.
"It's hard, it's really hard," Mara Tovar said.
Life hasn't been easy for the Tovars. Ten years ago, Mara came to the United States from Mexico on a visa to visit family. She was five months pregnant at the time.
"I went to the doctor here and my baby came," she said.
Her daughter Emily was born four months early, weighing just over one pound.
"She was in the hospital for three months," Mara said.
Emily needed around the clock care and doctors said leaving would have killed her. Mara and her husband made the decision to stay.
"You know, when you have a tiny baby you don't know what will happen to her," Mara said.
Emily's needs grew as she did, and her family made the choice to stay in Arizona illegally rather than deny her the care she needs.
"She has problems with her speech, she has problems with her legs," Mara said.
"If they were forced to leave the United States where would Emily go?" asked Mara's lawyer, Elizabeth Chatham with Davis Miles Law Firm.
Chatham said comprehensive immigration reform is the family's best hope.
"When you meet a family like this and you see that they just want to be here and do what they can for their kids, it really puts a face to why we need to try to make some significant action in Congress this year," Chatham said.