HOUSTON, TX - President Barack Obama unveiled his immigration plan on Thursday. His message left millions of undocumented immigrants and their families with hope but also with doubts.
"All these programs require a person to have been in the United States before January, 1 of 2010," explained Brian Schaeffer, YMCA International Services Immigration Legal Services Director during a press conference at Neighborhood Centers, Baker Ripley Community Center, on Friday.
The proposed administrative relief will benefit the undocumented parents of American citizens or permanent residents. For a period of three years, those who qualify will receive a work permit and won't be deported. The relief will also widen the deferred action for those youth who were illegally brought to America as children.
"They will be more accountable," said Cynthia Colbert, CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, "because they'll be able to get valid identity documents, and they'll be paying into the tax and social security systems."
Up to five million people could potentially be eligible for this relief, and nearly 175 thousand of them are in the Greater-Houston area. For many families, this is like the light at the end of the tunnel. In other words: they can now come out of the shadows.