While protests and demonstrations over illegal immigration take place across the mainland, in Hawaii a much quieter effort is underway to reach those hidden in our society and give some a chance at a normal life.
Until two years ago, Gabriela Andrade shunned the spotlight and would never have told her story.
"I lived in the shadows. I couldn't tell anyone about this," said Andrade, originally from Brazil.
Unlike thousands of legal immigrants in Hawaii, Gabriela was not one of them.
"I've been here for 13 years and for the first 11 years I was undocumented. I couldn't drive. I couldn't work. I couldn't attend school and it was very difficult. After high school I found myself in limbo," said Andrade.
In 2012, things changed for her when President Barack Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as the DACA program, that granted some young, undocumented immigrants who were raised in the United States temporary relief from deportation.
Immigration has become a major issue on the mainland, and deportation a very real fear for thousands of illegal immigrants -- not just those on the border.
"I woke up every day not known if that was going to be the day my life would be ripped away from me. Just going to the gas station could mean that I am never coming back to see my family again. So it is definitely a concern," said Andrade.
Along with relief from deportation, the DACA program also allows an undocumented immigrant to get a driver's license, a job, or go to college as an in-state student.
But it has been a challenge to get people to sign up. Only 270 have applied of the estimated 4,000 eligible immigrants in Hawaii.
"A lot of these people are afraid to come forward because of lack of information about the program and fear of exposing themselves or their families. There are a lot of Filipino and Pacific Islanders who would qualify for DACA but who have too much shame to come forward. If we break through that shame and show people that if they do qualify for DACA, it can change their lives in some pretty incredible ways,"
said immigration attorney Clare Hanusz.
Immigration lawyers are ready to help with the applications and a group of churches, unions and other organizations are getting out into the community to encourage people to sign up. An outreach workshop was held Tuesday evening in Honolulu and there will be another workshop held on July 26 at the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu at 10 a.m.
Andrade is also doing her part by sharing her story, showing others they can also come out of the shadows.
The outreach work is more than just a job for her, it is also an important step in her efforts to one day become a U.S. citizen.
"I grew up here. I speak English better than my home language. My family is here and I love this country. At heart I am already an American citizen," stated Andrade.