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Obama Announces New Immigration Plan

Rebecca Gibian |
November 21, 2014 | 12:07 a.m. PST

Senior News Editor

Men signal to people in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center during the watch party. (Rebecca Gibian/Neon Tommy)
Men signal to people in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center during the watch party. (Rebecca Gibian/Neon Tommy)

While President Barack Obama read his executive order, thousands of people across the nation held their breath as they waited to see how their lives would be changed.

Obama announced on Thursday night an executive order to extend temporary work visas and temporary reprieve from deportation to over five million immigrants.

“Today, our immigration system is broken,” Obama said in his address. “When I took office, I was committed to fixing this issue.”

One fourth of the illegal immigrants in the United States reside in Los Angeles. Tonight in downtown L.A., about a hundred people gathered to watch Obama’s speech. There was coffee, food and plenty of markers for sign making.

SEE ALSO: California Conservatives Propose Anti-Illegal Immigration Ballot Initiative 

“We want to make sure people remember who is in charge of keeping Obama on track: us,” said Luis Ojeda, a member of the California Immigration Youth Justice Alliance. “We will continue the fight.”

Located right below the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center, people who came to rally also made signs with messages of “Not One More” or “Relief for All.” Ralliers showed the signs to those sitting with their faces smooshed against the windows of the Center. Loud knocks could be heard from the Detention Center as those inside tried to get everyone’s attention.

“Don’t forget that who made this happen: you all,” said Pablo Alvardo, the executive director of the National Day Labor Organizing Network before Obama’s speech began. 

During the speech, everyone sat on the ground, holding hands and sitting close, showing support for everyone in the community. People booed at Obama’s plan to add more border control. And when the speech was over, there was very little clapping. 

However, Alvardo took to the microphone after the speech to tell everyone that this was a step in the right direction. 

He explained that this order came about because people risked their lives by fighting back against the current laws. Immigrant suffering became more apparent when people began to fight back. 

SEE ALSO: Obama Steps Up For Illegal Immigrants

“Make no mistake, that is why we are here,” he said. “Because people fought back in a beautiful way." 

However, the fight is not over. After Alvardo’s talk, a lawyer came to the stage to discuss the executive order piece by piece.

And for now, no one in Los Angeles appears to be giving up. 

“We are not going to rest until everyone is free, are we ready for that?” shouted Alvardo. 

Reach Senior News Editor Rebecca Gibian here and follow her on Twitter here



 

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