Local reaction to immigration announcement

Local reaction to immigration announcement

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - President Obama announced his plans to fix the immigration system Thursday. His plan included protecting undocumented workers from deportation.

At least 14,000 Arkansas immigrants could benefit from President Obama's executive action to fix the immigration system. The president's plan could spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. from being deported.

"The life is kind of hard over there and we try to move to the United States to get a better life," said Nicolas Guerrero.

Guerrero moved from a small town in Mexico to the United States in 1978 and was able to get a green card 8 years later. Although he made it to the U.S,U.S. had to leave a lot of his family behind.

"Now I decided to get a US citizenship, that's why I take these classes," he said.

He has been eligible for U.S citizenship for over 6 months now. On Thursday, President Obama announced a three point plan to offer relief to a  lot of immigrants. The president plans to crack down on illegal immigration at the border, deport felons not families, provide ways for undocumented immigrant who've lived in the U.S over 5 years to avoid deportation and expand work clearance for those in line for a green card.

"A lot of people are so happy about what he decided," Guerrero said. 

The Hispanic Community Service Inc. (HCSI) in Jonesboro works to improve the quality of life for Hispanic families in Northeast Arkansas. HCSI provides services in five different areas: social, legal, educational, health, and cultural.The center became a non-profit in 2003 and provides services in five different areas: legal, educational, health, social and cultural.

"The number of Hispanics in Arkansas and in Northeast Arkansas keep growing and growing," said Executive Director Gina Gomez.

And as the population grows, so do the challenges .Gomez said the immigration reform will have a positive impact on the Hispanic community.

"This means something that a lot our families have been waiting for years and years in the United States," Gomez said.

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