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Illegal immigrants hopeful about Obama speech

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 01:39

Millions of undocumented immigrants in the US are expected to watch President Barack Obama's immigration reform speech tonight, with one Maryland family certain that the president has their daughter's future in his hands. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Mayda and 6-year-old Heather look much like any other American mother and daughter. But looks are deceiving. Mayda is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who, with her husband, came to the United States years ago in search of work and family life. She says she walked for two days and two nights to cross the border. She was terrified then, but says it's been worth it. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYDA, MIGRANT WHOSE DAUGHTER WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, SAYING: "More than crime, what my country is going through was economic need which has always been there. But the opportunity of coming here was primarily to start a family and give my (future) daughter well-being that is not available in our countries." Like many other undocumented immigrants, Mayda is eagerly awaiting President Obama's immigration reform speech... hoping he will remove the threat of deportation for as many as five million people just like her. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MAYDA, MIGRANT WHOSE DAUGHTER WAS BORN IN THE UNITED STATES, SAYING: "What I ask President Barack Obama is to be as generous as possible, to include and shelter as many people as possible." Mayda says she's joined protests and rallies calling for immigration reform and says that when she loses courage, she remembers her friends who were caught and sent back. Obama's initiative would expand on a 2012 executive order that gives work permits to undocumented children brought to the country by their parents. It may not help Mayda, but for Heather, who was born in the U.S., it could signal the bright future Mayda is hoping for.

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Illegal immigrants hopeful about Obama speech

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 01:39