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Attorneys, Immigrants Laud Obama Decision

From: New Mexico News Connection
Length: 02:42

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An Obama administration policy announced Friday will stop the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and allow them to obtain work permits. Although there are some stipulations, El Paso, Texas, attorney Daniel Caudillo says the atmosphere at the annual immigration lawyers' conference in Nashville, Tenn., over the weekend was one of celebration.

Default-piece-image-1 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An Obama administration policy announced Friday will stop the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and allow them to obtain work permits. Although there are some stipulations, El Paso, Texas, attorney Daniel Caudillo says the atmosphere at the annual immigration lawyers' conference in Nashville, Tenn., over the weekend was one of celebration.

"We're excited to see cases like these come to a halt. I can very quickly think of several cases where there was nothing else that we could do. We ran out of options and that person had to ultimately leave the only country that they've known as home."

Opponents complain the deferred-action order is political and merely a stopgap. Caudillo points out that, at this time, there is limited information about how the order will be implemented.

Marcela Diaz is the executive director of a statewide immigrant advocacy organization known as Somos un Pueblo Unido. She says that while this order will not affect a large population of New Mexicans, it will have a more immediate, positive effect because of state education policies.

"Back in 2005, in a statewide effort that Somos activists and - ultimately - legislators moved forward, undocumented immigrant students have access to in-state tuition and financial aid."

A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico, Mayté Garcia, has been working for passage of the Dream Act since before Barack Obama was President. During the Iowa caucuses in 2008, she appeared on C-SPAN, posing a question to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I asked her if the Dream Act was a priority of hers in her first 100 days. She didn't respond to the question, but she said she would look into it."

Garcia says this declaration by President Obama means everything to her. She describes the first thing she plans to do to celebrate his decision.

"I am going to hold my daughter in my arms and cry and pray and say thank you for this opportunity."

Garcia says Obama's administrative order is at least a temporary end to living in limbo. It means she can return to school and will be able to teach in this country. 

Beginning today, individuals can call the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hotline, 1-800-375-5283, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hotline at 1-888-351-4024, with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming application process.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An Obama administration policy announced Friday will stop the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and allow them to obtain work permits. Although there are some stipulations, El Paso, Texas, attorney Daniel Caudillo says the atmosphere at the annual immigration lawyers' conference in Nashville, Tenn., over the weekend was one of celebration.

"We're excited to see cases like these come to a halt. I can very quickly think of several cases where there was nothing else that we could do. We ran out of options and that person had to ultimately leave the only country that they've known as home."

Opponents complain the deferred-action order is political and merely a stopgap. Caudillo points out that, at this time, there is limited information about how the order will be implemented.

Marcela Diaz is the executive director of a statewide immigrant advocacy organization known as Somos un Pueblo Unido. She says that while this order will not affect a large population of New Mexicans, it will have a more immediate, positive effect because of state education policies.

"Back in 2005, in a statewide effort that Somos activists and - ultimately - legislators moved forward, undocumented immigrant students have access to in-state tuition and financial aid."

A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico, Mayté Garcia, has been working for passage of the Dream Act since before Barack Obama was President. During the Iowa caucuses in 2008, she appeared on C-SPAN, posing a question to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"I asked her if the Dream Act was a priority of hers in her first 100 days. She didn't respond to the question, but she said she would look into it."

Garcia says this declaration by President Obama means everything to her. She describes the first thing she plans to do to celebrate his decision.

"I am going to hold my daughter in my arms and cry and pray and say thank you for this opportunity."

Garcia says Obama's administrative order is at least a temporary end to living in limbo. It means she can return to school and will be able to teach in this country. 

Beginning today, individuals can call the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hotline, 1-800-375-5283, or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hotline at 1-888-351-4024, with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming application process.