A crowd gathered at Casa Michoacan on Chicago’s southwest side Thursday night to watch President Obama’s speech where he outlined his executive action on immigration.
The group was put together by immigration activists like “Illinois is Ready.” Those in attendance said they have a lot to gain by the plan but feel more needs to be done when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform.
Obama said his actions will impact 4 million undocumented immigrants living in America, including many who gathered at Case Michoacan.
Many were most interested in the part of the President’s speech that addressed a deportation amnesty for undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for at least five years - or those who have children who are U.S. citizens.
Those individuals would be allowed to register with the government, submit to a background check, and also pay taxes in exchange for not being deported.
The president says this move will allow millions of workers to come out of the shadows and be able to live here with accountability.
People like Edith Robles, who says she and her family will immediately benefit the president’s plan. Robles came to America from Mexico 21 years ago on a 10 year visa and never returned. She’s given birth to two children, now U.S citizens, and she and her husband work, own a home, and a vehicle. Yet she still feels like her life could be turned upside-down at any moment.
“For me it means that our family are removed from the threat of deportation,” she said. “It’s really painful to think our family could be separated at any time.”