Local Reaction To Amnesty Plan

DALTON, GA. (WDEF-TV) – The immigration reform program set forth by the president last night stopped short on unconditional amnesty for millions of people who are in the country illegally.
But it did offer a pathway to citizenship for many.
It was welcome news especially in the heavily hispanic town of Dalton.
Here’s what the plan does, and does not do.

"IF you register,pass a criminal background check,and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation."

The words seemed reassuring. Residents of Dalton, which is not almost 50% hispanic were listening.
But many have reservations.

QUINCY JENKINS, DALTON STATE, HISPANIC OUTREACH "In a country of 11.2 million immigrants..this only will reach about 3.7 …So its just a drop in the bucket."

The president’s plan would shield as man as 5-million undocumented immigrants from deportation..that includes parents of children born here and those who have lived in the U-S more than 5 years.

TERRY OLSEN, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY "A lot of people are extremely happy…but also worried about what could happen in 3 years once he’s out of office. " –

The president’s plan which will apparently be enforced by executive order, has other benefits.
It would also grant work permits and expand the dreamer program for immigrants brought to the U.S. Illegally as children.

But apparently not not all of them.

QUINCY JENKINS, DALTON STATE "It doesn’t cover mothers or parents of Dreamers ..Call them doca…you have to have been here 5 years and have children who are US citizens or permanent legal residents."

TERRY OLSEN "What I’ve told my clients that I think they should go ahead, I think they should apply, and in three years from now I think congress will have to create a bill around…around their lives."

Olson thinks Obama called congress’s bluff.

TERRY OLSEN "I think he understands that the only way that either party will do anything is if they are forced to do it.

For immigrants who came to the country legally and are stuck in a long naturalization process, Terry Olsen says the President’s plan will move them to the head of the line.

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