News / USA

    Some Illegal Immigrants Allowed to Stay Under Obama Order

    President Obama's executive order to temporarily halt deportation of some undocumented immigrants has provided hope to them, but it also has put many families and friends on opposite sides of a divide. 

    Monica Sibri and Yohan Garcia are friends.  Garcia came to the United States when he was 15, Sibri when she was 16.  He is eligible to remain in the country for now; she is not.

    President Obama this year drew a line. Immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally at age 15 or younger are eligible to stay for at least two years.

    "Now, let's be clear," said Obama.  "This is not amnesty.  This is not immunity.  This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix."

    But not everyone meets those requirements.  Sibri, 20, is from Ecuador and is a student at the College of Staten Island.  

    "Half of my family is here and my parents are here.  If I go back to Ecuador, I have no one," said Sibri.

    Garcia, 25, says he feels lucky that he is eligible to legally stay, but he worries about Sibri and others who may be forced to leave.

    "I feel that students like her with great talents should be given the opportunity to do something great in this country," said Garcia.  "She is getting her education here.  I think she will be a great asset to the United States of America."

    Immigrant Lourdes Romero is eligible to stay, but still has concerns.   

    "I felt I can now fly and so on, accomplish all these things that I always dreamt of, but at the same time I kept thinking about all these people that are not eligible," said Romero.

    The immigrants are not the only ones with an opinion. Joanna Marzullo is with a group that opposes Obama's order.  "Obama is incorrect in allowing illegal alien trespassers to remain in this country or to make it easier for them," said Marzullo.

    Father Bob Vitaglione at the Sacred Heart church in Brooklyn calls Obama's policy a noble gesture, but he wants a change in attitudes.  

    "Our undocumented immigrants of today are, in effect, 20th century slaves," said Vitaglione.  "They work on minimum or below minimum wage. They'll do the dirtiest, scuzziest jobs, which in the old days slaves would have done."

    More than 100,000 people have applied for the president's so-called deferred action.

    The administration hopes Congress will pass a law allowing young adults brought to the U.S. illegally as children to eventually become U.S. citizens. But in the meantime, for those not eligible under his plan, they will either be deported, return home voluntarily or remain in the United States as illegals.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Robin Hvidston from: CA
    October 22, 2012 3:58 AM
    I agree with Joanna - President Obama should not grant legal status to those in the USA unlawfully. Only congress can make a law granting legal status - not a president.

    by: mike viehl from: brooklyn
    October 21, 2012 12:43 PM
    this is bs.that priest is a joke.they do jobs americans will and should be doing.hotel maids are mostly illegals and make 24 dollars and hr with pensions and benefits.tell me americans wont do that?bull.and many more.this is a joke and lies we are being told.we are supposed to feel sorry for criminals.how about we let all criminals out of jail who robbed or broke and entered.its the same thing.deport all and end birthright citizenship before it changes us.kids being raised by illegals will have different views.soon they will be our leaders and change our laws

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.