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How immigrants are reacting to Obama’s action

President Obama’s address detailing immigration reform brought strong responses from both supporters and those opposed to his plan. Beyond Capitol Hill, we asked documented and undocumented immigrants to express their reactions.

Read the Full Transcript

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The strong response to the president’s speech went far beyond Capitol Hill. Around the country, some immigrants and their families and supporters applauded the move. Others said the president either went too far or has yet to go far enough. We hear now from some of those voices in their own words.

    Some did not want to be identified, so we have chosen not to name names.

  • WOMAN:

    It’s my case. You know, it’s my parents’ case. It’s a lot of my friends’ cases.

    And we feel like we’re just being stepped on, and we’re not considered human beings. We’re just seen as people who are coming to this country to do illegal things or be criminals. Now we can breathe a little bit, but continue to fight for the rest of the millions of immigrants that continue to stay behind the shadows.

  • WOMAN:

    I don’t think that this is a good way to give the community that we deserve, the community, and there will be a lot of workers, a lot of day laborers and community members who also deserve to be here, to stay in the country, because we contribute to the economy of this country, too.

  • WOMAN:

    I’m going to be able to work for this community that — and this country that it’s my country. It’s my country.

  • MAN:

    I’m undocumented, and, unfortunately, I have a criminal record, so I am not eligible for this.

  • WOMAN (through interpreter):

    It’s a step forward. Because my son graduated, he has his master’s degree, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do anything. He arrived when he was 13 years old. It’s such a big fight, and there’s so much frustration among the youth who have studied and can’t do anything. But what the president just did is a big achievement.

  • MAN (through interpreter):

    He didn’t say anything, absolutely anything. It’s the same that he had said previously, the same lies. He wants to further militarize the borders. That money, they can use it for other things, at schools. They can do many more things, instead of criminalizing people, which is the only thing that they are doing.

  • WOMAN:

    This means a lot of stability for me and my kids.

  • WOMAN:

    One of my biggest fears was always losing my mom, especially because my dad’s not around as much in our lives.

  • WOMAN:

    I’m a citizen, and right now I don’t have a job and, you know, things like that. So, it’s going to be, I think, a little bit of a problem for us that have been here for a long time. You know, we have been here legal — legally for a long time, you know? And we’re not really making it. So, if we have more people, it will be worse.

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