Immigrants, Activists Weigh In On President’s Immigration Reform Plan

By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — President Barack Obama’s immigration reform plan is getting praise and criticism from immigrants and activists.

Aterina Vilchez is an undocumented immigrant.  She came to West Chester from Chile nearly 15 years ago.

“I do have U.S. citizen children so I’m really happy that I’ll be able to qualify for this deferred action,” Vilchez said.

Vilchez, a mother of twin 10-year-olds, says she’s happy with how the steps being laid out for immigration reform, but she knows there’s a lot more work to be done.

“We just have to keep fighting until an immigration reform is passed,” she said.

Vilchez who works translating children’s books from English to Spanish, says she’s been too scared to tell her kids that she’s undocumented.

“People are here because they want a better life. We love this country. I love this country and if we’re here it’s because we want to be part of it,” she said.

Selena Mecado, an undocumented student from Mexico, says for her, the President’s message on immigration reform is bittersweet.

“This is something new, but I was waiting more for something for my parents,” Mecado said.

Mecado, a second-year student at Delaware County Community College, who’s been in this country for 10 years, worries her parents don’t look like they’ll qualify to stay in the United States, even under the President’s new plans.

“They don’t have any children who are citizens. They only have me and my brother and we both have differed action. I’m just a little confused right now if they’re going to be able to qualify for it, so we’re just going to wait to see what happens,” she said.

Mecado says she’s going to continue to fight for a more comprehensive reform plan.

 
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