President Obama will unveil his plan for immigration reform
Five million people could soon be given work permits and be protected from deportation. A local group says the president's executive action is what they've been waiting years for.
\"The undocumented community just want to be able to go to work drive around, you know, without some type of fear,\" said Gerardo Alvarado.
Alvarado knows the fear all too well. He came to the United States 20 years ago. He was undocumented up until 2012 when Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was passed. A program that allowed children who were brought into this country the right to work and be protected from deportation. Now he wants the same opportunities given to his mother.
\"All she really wants is to be able to find a job without being rejected because she doesn't have papers,\" said Alvarado.
President Obama is expected to give an executive order that would allow 5 million undocumented people work permits and protection from being deported. The people who qualify are;parents of residents or citizens who have been in the country for at least 5 years.The order would also expand DACA, meaning, more children could apply for protection.
Christine Neumann Ortiz with Voces De La Frontera, a group that helps those who are undocumented, calls it a win.
\"This is a huge victory because for over 10 years now we have been struggling to pass immigration reform andunfortunatelyy congress has failed to do it,\"said Ortiz.
A win for Voces, but with limitations. Those who qualify would not receive health care benefits.
This would not affect every person who is undocumented. Right now, there's an estimated 11 million people in this country who are considered unauthorized immigrants, meaning 6 million people would not qualify for this.