President Obama will announce Thursday executive actions that could remove the threat of deportation and grant work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants, the New York Times reports. This move would be similar to the 2012 action the president took which authorized young people who came to the United States as children to remain legally in the country.
While Congress has stagnated for years on creating immigration reform that changes laws and a path to citizenship, this would create new policy that is estimated to impact up to 4 million people. "The Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, and while the country waits for House Republicans to vote, the President will act — like the Presidents before him — to fix our immigration system in the ways that he can," White House Press Secretary Josh Ernest said in a statement on WhiteHouse.gov.
We spoke Thursday to Alhambra residents and visitors on Main Street about their thoughts on the president's immigration reform:
"It's a matter [President Obama] should be taking on. The U.S. was founded by immigrants and it's not fair to target Mexicans. We all came here illegally. I feel like we still have issues of inequality and segregation." –Yvonne Guerrero, Alhambra resident and ELAC student
"It doesn't really bother me that illegal immigrants are here. It's a tough situation. I dont know how you seperate the families staying here from the criminals staying here. It should be easier to get citizenship. My best friend came here when he was 2 years old and it took him over 25 years to get citizenship." –Lidia Valencia, Highland Park resident and PCC student
"That's a good thing. I always thought deportation was a sensitive issue. My family came here illegally and they got the chance to work. I feel like the Asian population doesn't face the same discrimination Latinos do. I still have relatives that are good citizens but they aren't citizens." –Debby Chung, Glendale resident and medical student
"I hope they can get the paper work for these people because they help the economy. Citizens think immigrants are taking our jobs but it's not true. They do the low paying, hard working jobs." –Ed Suarez, Los Angeles resident"Honestly, it's about time they do something about it. My parents aren't from here and it's hard for them to work. I'm glad they're talking about it." -Jazmine Suarez, San Gabriel resident and Everest student"That's good. I know people who would benefit from that…I have family [who live here illegally]. I've had family members deported. It's a pretty crappy situation." –Mario Camarena, San Diego resident and musician"I'm a Democrat. I know it seems inconvenient to have that reform. Let them stay here." –Paul Stevens, Alhambra resident and civil engineer"It's good, especially after what happened in Murieta." –Eric Hansel, Menifee resident and musician"I want him to approve it." –T. Meza, Alhambra resident"I don't know, that's a hard issue. If they're already here then it's OK. But they should keep enforcing border control." –Jessica Martinez, Alhambra resident and Starbucks employee