CHATTANOOGA (WRCB/Times Free Press)-- More than 12 million immigrants are in the United States illegally.

The South, in particular, has become a popular destination with Guatemalans migrating to Chattanooga in increasing numbers.

A six-day series from our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press will take a closer look at our local immigration problems.

In 2008, a raid at Pilgrims Pride shed light on the population of Guatemalans in Chattanooga illegally.

Today, more than three years later, the effects of the raid are still felt here and in Guatemala, as dreams were shattered, families were torn apart and young children born in the United States were taken from the only life they'd known.

Perla Trevizo, a reporter for the Times Free Press, traveled to Central America to tell these families' stories. Caught between their old life of possibility in Chattanooga and their new life of hardship, many feel returning to United States is their only option for a better life.

For these children caught between two worlds, they face the difficulty of a life where $5 is a normal day's wage.

For so many Guatemalans, America offers a better life, but they say it does not come without hardship.

The special series begins Sunday with our partners from the Times Free Press.

If you'd like to read more about the lives of local immigrants in their native lands, including an in-depth look at the local problems with illegal immigration, pick up the paper any day next week.

Working Together for You: Read more from our partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.