Behind closed doors, Bertha Martinez and her husband, Victor Soriano, often discussed how they would tell their oldest daughter that she was in the country illegally.

“We didn’t want to hurt her,” Soriano said.

Paying someone to sneak 7-year-old Brenda and 3-year-old Diana across the border in the back of a minivan had seemed like the right choice in 2002.

In their L.A. apartment, the girls’ happy portraits and their many certificates of achievement were testament enough that coming to the U.S. had been good.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.