BALTIMORE (WJZ) — President Obama tells the nation he’s bypassing Congress to fix America’s immigration system. It’s the most sweeping overhaul in decades, shielding 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally.
Christie Ileto spoke to some Maryland families deeply impacted by the president’s action.
The words in both English and Spanish are simple, but the message is powerful.
“I was born in Chile, but I put my roots in here,” said Marlene Uribe.
Maryland is home for Uribe and will be at least for the next three years. She’s one of thousands of unauthorized immigrants in the state who will be temporarily shielded from deportation under the president’s executive order.
Ileto: “What does this mean for you and your family?”
Uribe: “I’m really more safe.”
“For my parents specifically, they won’t have to live with this fear every day,” said Marlene’s daughter, Nathaly Uribe Robledo.
The excitement is contagious at Casa de Maryland.
Maryland is one of seven states to see increases in unauthorized immigrants since 2009. Studies show that number grew by 25,000 people, totaling 250,000 by 2012.
Not everyone is sold.
“I don’t like our elected officials ignoring the law for people like this,” one man said.
Groups like Help Save Maryland have long fought the reform.
“Congress needs to address the entire immigration system, but they failed to come through on that,” said Liz Alex, Casa de Maryland.
For families like the Uribes…
“This is definitely some type of relief. This is definitely a very small step forward. We definitely will keep fighting until we get what we deserve, which is a pathway to citizenship,” Nathaly Uribe Robledo said.
The president will sign the executive order Friday in Las Vegas.
Nationwide, around 11 million people are here in the U.S. illegally.
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