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Nancy Perado came from Siodade Horez illegally 13 years ago. She now lives on Staten Island. Because of New York's liberal immigration philosophy, she, and her family are not afraid every day of being deported, but they are careful and are watching Washington closely this summer. Five-year-old Axel was born here.
Axel would you rather speak in Spanish or would you rather speak in English?
I would rather speak in English. I want to say that I really want [inaudible] and do not get our family lost.
Axel is an American citizen, but his brothers Juan who is 15 and Denise 13, were born in Mexico and remain undocumented.
I'm beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own without Congress.
Only Congress has the power to grant undocumented people like Nancy and her family legal status and so President Obama's options are limited. His focus will be on reducing deportations among people who have been here for years. One of Obama's easiest options would be to refine a 2010 policy that says undocumented, non-criminal, breadwinning immigrants would not be high deportation priorities. Such a change could ease some of the fears in the family, but immigrant advocates and immigrant families say it's unclear whether it would make a big difference.
I'm hoping he does something by this summer. I hope it's not the same nonsense that he always says. That I'm going to do something and he doesn't do it.
A more forceful step from the President will fully eliminate deportation for some immigrants, at least for a time.
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Juan is currently applying for protection under a policy known as DOCA, that's deferred action for childhood arrivals. DOCA lasts two years and would give him work permits and a social security number. A move from the President could grant DOCA like protections to the parents of United States citizens.
Extending these protections could impact some 3.8 million people. The number would be even higher if the President chose to extend protections to the parents of DOCA recipients, but that's a step the government and lawyers say would almost surely invite legal scrutiny and republican opposition.
Until you secure the boarders, you cannot have the conversation about anything else.
President Obama's most far reaching and controversial move would be to extend DOCA like protections to all undocumented immigrants who meet a certain criteria. That's an estimated 9.6 million people. Nancy and her family could be free from deportation fears, but it's another move that would almost surely bring a legal challenge.
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President Obama has promised action by the end of the summer, but not content to wait the family often visits Washington to add their voice to the pressure for reform.