For Immigrants, Obama's Executive Order May Fall Short
President Obama on Thursday will outline the executive order he plans to issue to protect thousands of undocumented immigrants from deportation. That news broke in Miami as immigrants and their advocates were beginning a rally at a church near downtown Miami. They were planing to tell the president to "go big" with his executive power.
But that may not happen.
There were high spirits and optimism on the steps of Miami's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as word spread that President Obama was finally about to act. Julio Calderon missed out on previous opportunities to improve his status as an undocumented immigrant. He's hoping this time will be different.
"I'm afraid that I can get deported," Calderon said from a podium on the cathedral steps. "I'm afraid that Obama is going to make another announcement, and I'm going to be left out again. That's why I'm asking President Obama to go big."
"Going big" means issuing the broadest possible executive order to protect the greatest possible number of people from deportation. Marleine Bastien, chairwoman of the Florida Immigrant Coalition, says it's a matter or numbers.
"He can go big and be inclusive. That's the word. We want him to be inclusive and consider the 11 million, not the five million that he's been talking about," Bastien said.
But it may not go that far. The president seems to be considering the course that will protect the five million, not the whole 11 million immigrants living illegally in the United States. According to various widely quoted sources, farm workers and the parents of immigrants who arrived as children will not be protected. But the sources say four million immigrants who have lived in the U. S. for at least five years and have no criminal record will be shielded from deportation.
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