NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — From halfway around the world, President Barack Obama upped the ante in the fight for immigration reform.
One woman told CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer on Friday that reform would mean everything to the half million undocumented immigrants in New York City.
The woman spoke to Kramer wearing large, dark sunglasses to hide her face and a hat to hide her hair. She was afraid that if she were to truly come out of the shadows she would be deported and separated from her 9-year-old daughter, who was born here and is an American citizen.
“Every day that we leave the house we don’t know if we are going to see our families again,” the woman said.
She is one of New York City’s many undocumented immigrants, a woman who knows the horror of being arrested. That happened in 2011, but she was temporarily allowed to stay.
“The same fear I faced when I was taken in jail … no see my girl again,” she said when asked what her biggest fear is.
More than anything, she said she wants President Obama to make good on his determination to sign an executive order as soon as next week that will allow some 5 million undocumented immigrants — people like her — to avoid deportation.
“Everybody agrees that the system is broken,” Obama said.
And from the other side of the globe on Friday, in Myanmar, the president kept up the pressure on Washington lawmakers to come up with meaningful immigration reform.
“I indicated to (House) Speaker (John) Boehner several months ago that if in fact Congress failed to act I would use all the lawful authority that I possess to try to make the system work better, and that’s going to happen. That’s going to happen before the end of the year,” the president said.
But as House and Senate leaders, especially Republicans who will control Congress in January, dither about immigration reform, there was a plea from one undocumented immigrant.
“We are here no taking anybody else jobs. We’re here working hard. We’re here to give a better future to our families and we are paying taxes,” the woman said.
Also frustrated with the slow pace of federal immigration reform, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two bills into law Friday to dramatically reduce cooperation with federal immigration officials seeking to deport people who live here.
And he threatened to do more if Washington doesn’t act.
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