VIDEO: More than symbolic, immigration order impacts real families

Friday, November 21, 2014
Immigration order impacts real families
EMBED <>More Videos

Konstantin Zavertkin, and undocumented immigrant from Yekaterinburg, Russia, is hoping to stay in America with the rest of his family and earn his citizenship.

Konstantin Zavertkin is an entrepreneur from Yekaterinburg, Russia, who has lived in the Chicago area without documentation for just under five years, the minimum to avoid deportation under the order. All he wants is six months with the right to work and drive a car to show what he can do.

"I want to help economic America," Konstantin says. "I can help America."

Konstantin started a janitorial services company that endeavors to offer first jobs to new immigrants. Eventually he would like to branch into international shipping.

He lives with his sister Yulia, her son and their parents, who are also undocumented, in a 1,100 square foot Evanston apartment. Their parents have been in the U.S. long enough to qualify for the executive order.

Yulia has lived in Chicago for 12 years. She is a professional piano teacher who married, had a son, and then divorced. She says she saw Chicago in a movie and dreamed about starting a life here.

"I really want to run here," she says. "I envisioned every single thing about the picture and in half a year, I am here."

She is worried Konstantin may not be allowed to stay in the country, or that he will leave.

"Lots of people struggle and these feelings overwhelm them and they are ready to go," she says.

Her brother is typical of American immigrants who, regardless of their origins, are just itching for the chance to compete.

"Give me six months, give me higher taxes, give me time," Konstantin says. "I would like to live here with my family, with my friends."

Related Topics