TODAY   |  May 17, 2010

Son of immigrants is living the American Dream

As the issue of illegal immigration continues to spark debates across the country, TODAY’s Natalie Morales takes a look at one legal immigrant couple who are working hard to give their son a better life in the United States.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

AL ROKER reporting: In our series CLASS OF 2020 , we're following a group of students from their first day in kindergarten to their high school graduation. Well, this morning, we get to know a second grader named Carlos . Twelve years ago, his parents left their native Mexico to move to the United States , and as the issue of illegal immigration sparks passionate debate across the country, this couple of legal immigrants are working hard to help their son live the American dream . Here's TODAY national correspondent Natalie Morales .

NATALIE MORALES reporting: Nothing says springtime like Little League baseball . Seven-year-old Carlos is catching on quick, learning to throw, measuring his swings. For Carlos ' mom, a day at the ballpark is about more than just a game, it's the fulfillment of a dream that started in her native Mexico . Cinthia was born and raised in Guadalajara . When Cinthia was a teenager, her best friend introduced her to Alberto , and it was love at first sight .

CINTHIA (Carlos's Mother): When I see him, I thought he was with -- he wasn't going to like me, and then he just, like -- I don't know -- we went out and that's it.

MORALES: Cinthia and Alberto dreamed of a better life than the one they were living in Mexico . After two and a half years of dating, they married and moved to America .

ALBERTO (Carlos's Father): The plan was to make -- come -- work. I don't know what, but just find a job and just make a little money, go back to Guadalajara and start a business. But when Carlos was born, we just decided it was better to stay here.

MORALES: How are you?


MORALES: When I first met Carlos two years ago in kindergarten, he'd been speaking only Spanish at home and knew very little English.

ALBERTO: Six months later, he just speak English. And then the first grade, he didn't want to speak Spanish, he'd say, `I only want to speak English.' And -- but now he likes both.

MORALES: Now in second grade, Carlos is fully immersed in the language and culture of his birthplace and his immigrant parents are learning right alongside him.

CINTHIA: I want to learn more how to raise him, how to communicate with him. I'm always wanting to know more.

MORALES: After a 12-hour day shift as a caregiver, Alberto spends his nights doing homework with Carlos . Money is always tight, but Alberto and Cinthia have no regrets about their decision to move to America .

CINTHIA: I like it here a lot. I don't mean -- I see my life ending here. And I see him going to college and university.

MORALES: For Carlos , it's still exciting every time he gets on base. For his parents, every day at the ballpark feels like a home run.

ALBERTO: I think we are living the American dream .

ROKER: And if you need further proof, the Little League team that Carlos plays for, the Yankees , of course. Alberto and Cinthia have been steadily working as legal residents since they arrived in the United States and are hoping to become citizens in the near future. You can follow Carlos and the entire class of 2020 students on a special page dedicated to the series at And up next, you don't have to slave over a hot stove for hours for a great pasta sauce, we've got some great recipes. But first, this is TODAY on NBC .