When Doreen Padilla was 14 years old, she met Saul Falcon at a new school just west of Denver, and this young woman, half white and half Hispanic, eventually fell in love with this handsome boy with shiny black hair, and one day, years later, they were married.

Like many young couples, they struggled to make ends meet. But they had an extra burden – how to gain permanent residency status for Saul, who had been brought to America from Mexico by his parents at age 2.

Saul was a dreamer, an immigrant given protection by President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allowed him to live and work in the U.S. But then, Donald Trump attempted to kill that program, and the pressure for Saul to obtain documentation and his green card intensified.

That journey has been revealed in a new book, “Outsiders, a Journey to Belonging,” by Doreen, our guest on the Lean to the Left podcast today.

Doreen grew up in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she lives today with her husband, Saul, and two children. She was the first in her family to graduate from college and go on to earn a graduate degree.

In her current role in local government, she wears many hats to support employees in her organization. As a public servant she is dedicated to the communities around her and is consistently advocating for positive change.

"Outsiders: A Journey to Belonging" , which tells the true story of a dreamer growing up in America, is an important part of that effort. Doreen, welcome to Lean to the Left.Q. Tell us about your book and why you wrote it.

Some questions we asked Doreen:

Q. What was it like battling to keep Saul from being deported to Mexico, especially after Trump tried to kill DACA?

Q. Where do things stand now with Saul and his quest to become a citizen?

Q. What advice do you give others who face this same situation?

Q. Congress continues to be unable to reform our dysfunctional immigration system. What are your thoughts about that?

Q. Immigrants, especially those from across our southern border, continue to be targeted by many politicians, mostly Republicans, and used as political pawns to whip up support from their right-wing base. What are your thoughts about that?

Q. How did you and your husband feel when Trump was in office pushing his wall along the southern border to keep immigrants from entering the U.S.?

Q. What about now, with the current crisis as thousands try to enter the U.S. seeking asylum from violence in their home countries? What should happen?

Q. Your husband was a DACA “dreamer.” What contributions has he made to the U.S. and American society?

Q. There are about 2 million “dreamers” in the U.S. today, with about 600,000 being beneficiaries of DACA. What should happen to them?

Q. Tell us about Barking Beagle Books. Why did you launch your own publishing company, and what’s the plan going forward?

Q. Where can people find your book?

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