Jansing and Co | November 30, 2012
>>> new this morning, the house will vote in less than an hour on a gop immigration reform bill that would make it easier for some immigrant students to get visas. at the same time, new government figures show that more than 53,000 undocumented immigrants have been approved to stay in the country under president obama 's new immigration policy . the deferred action for childhood arrivals initiative launched in august halts the depotatid deportation of some undocumented immigrants brought to the u.s. as children. joining me, one of the first to benefit from the new policy, and telemundo's jose diaz belart. good to see both of you. the president announced the program earlier this year. how is it being rolled out, and who qualifies?
>> well, okay. first of all, it's only a two-year reprieve from possible deportation. this is not a permanent solution, this is just a two-year reprieve. and it could benefit up to 1.2 million young people like carla. to be able to qualify, you have to have -- you're under 31 years of age by june of this year. you have to have lived in this country for at least five years, gotten to the united states before you were 16 years of age. and of course, not have any kind of record, criminal record . gone to high school or going to high school . it's a two-year reprieve. but when you're living with the daily fear of possible deportation, two years is certainly a very important benefit.
>> carla, you applied to this program and were approved, obviously. and there are a couple things, really, at play here. one is the fear that a lot of students your age have. they want to go to school, but they don't have legal status. but you crossed the border with your parents when you were just 7 years old, and you say you still have nightmares about it. tell us what happened.
>> well, yeah, i crossed the border, but, you know, it's just not my story out there. i have nightmares about it, but you know, millions of families come here to give their family a better life . so crossing the border was really hard. i still have nightmares about it, but there's millions of stories out there just like mine. i'm not the only one. you know, families come here and risk their lives just to come here and give their family a better life , a better education. they struggle so much back home that they all want to have money, a little bit of money, just to survive.
>> you were making very little money before you got this reprieve and were able to start community college . you say you were working a $3 an hour job. so now that you've been approved for this program, what do you think it means for your future? what are your plans? and tell us what happened, how you felt that moment you found out that you were one of the people who were eligible.
>> well, the moment i got the letter in the mail, i was so excited. but yet part of me was sad because even though i got accepted, my friends and my family do not have -- they're not protected from getting deported, you know. there's millions of students out there who do not qualify because of a mistake they made in the past. they're not perfect, so they made mistakes, and because of that, they won't qualify for the deferred action. but even if i qualify, you know, i'm not going to stop here. i'm going to keep on fighting for my community because they deserve something better.
>> jose, karla points out she's one of millions of people who are living in this situation in this country. and many of them who are young people who came to this country because their parents wanted a better life for them. many of them have known any other country but this. we talked about this house bill that's going to be brought up today, probably has no chance of passing the senate, but the latino community really showed its power in this election. i'm wondering once we get through the fiscal cliff negotiations, is there a sense of renewed hope that something will finally be done in a comprehensive way about immigration?
>> chris, there is renewed hope, but there is also a demand that something be done about the broken immigration reform system, immigration system. let me tell you something, karla , think about this. this is a young woman who came here at a very early age through no fault of her own. she didn't take the decision. here she is speaking out publicly. think of the strength it takes to speak out publicly to know that your parents could get picked up. this is an administration that's deported over more than 1.2 million people over the last four years. the strength of these young people inspires others to go out and vote, for example, the 6th of november to say something needs to be done because you know what? in this country, bernie madoff's children are innocent until proven guilty , even though they worked with him, but they're presumed innocent because you cannot be found guilty for your parents' mistakes. and in this case, however, if you are brought here by your parents, you have to suffer for your parents' mistakes. youif your father is a felon, it doesn't mean that you cannot vote. however, these young kids are being forced to assume the responsibility that their parents made and through no fault of their own. it's a two-year reprieve. something needs to be done about immigration reform because simply doing nothing is not good enough. and the 6th of november proved that latinos are voting. they want results, not just talk.
>> and i want to point out not only is karla now going to school, but she also founded a group to help other students. congratulations on that. jose, always great to see you. thank you so much.
>> thank you.