Immigrants Overjoyed, Immigration Hard Liners Furious

6:35 PM, Jan 29, 2013   |    comments
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HYATTSVILLE, Md (WUSA9) -- Fierce reaction to the President's plan from both sides today.

Across the country, immigrants held "watch parties" as Mr Obama delivered words they've waited years to hear. Immigrants were overjoyed and critics furious. The immigrants think this is their moment. The critics say if the GOP thinks this is going to win it Hispanic votes, it's mistaken.

"Yes, we can!" immigrants roared after the speech at Casa de Maryland, a non-profit immigrant advocacy group. "Now we're on the right path," said one, "because Democrats and Republicans are getting together, which is something that did not happen before."

"I'm really really happy. I'm happy with the announcement," said Ricardo Campos, who came to the US with his parents at age 12, and still doesn't have papers.

Massive Hispanic turnout for President Obama has brought Republicans to the immigration reform table. A bi-partisan group of Senators offering 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship if they pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line.

"I'm really happy," says Adelaide Tembe, who says she was abused by an employer who brought her to the US to clean her house.
But she's only too happy to sacrifice to become a citizen. "I'm not lazy, I can work, so I can pay everything I have to."

But critics call the plan amnesty and say it will only cost the GOP votes. "An amnesty bill will only hand 11 to 12 million illegal aliens, who are overwhelmingly government dependent, to the Democrats.
There are signs Republicans are already split on the issue," says Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform."

There are already some signs that the GOP is splitting on immigration. Rep. Lamar Smith, a senior Republican on Judiciary Committee, says legalizing people who are in the country illegally only costs taxpayers millions, costs American workers thousands of jobs, and encourages more illegal immigration.

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