As thousands of young illegal immigrants consider openly applying for work permits under a new Obama administration directive, they dream of jobs they could never find in the shadows.
Eduardo Ruiz, of San Jose, has worked in a South Bay market since he was a teenager, but the trained artist wants to animate 3-D movies and open his own studio. Fiona Cruz, of Daly City, earned a biotechnology degree at UC Davis but is blocked from working in a science lab. Alameda's Ju Hong bussed tables at a sushi restaurant to pay his UC Berkeley bills but would rather be drafting better government policies.
An estimated 350,000 children and young adult immigrants in California and more than 1 million nationwide could qualify for protection from deportation and temporary work permits through the new federal relief initiative announced Friday, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
How their arrival into the formal job market will affect California's economy and employment is a mystery to many economists because nothing quite like this has ever happened before.