Immigrants cheer new federal policy
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By Adam Wisnieski
Norma Vega, principal of English Language Learners And International Support Preparatory Academy (E.L.L.I.S.), which is one of the schools on the John F. Kennedy Campus and serves an immigrant population, was also pleased
“It’ll make a big difference for our incoming class,” she said, but said that the few undocumented students at the school now would not be affected because they came to this country after they were 16.
“It’s right time, right place, right age,” she said. “For those that it fits, I think that it’s an awesome thing … I think that it just opens up lots of opportunities and just gives them a lot of hope.”
She said she planned to discuss the policy at next year’s orientation to get students talking about how the country’s immigration policies affect them.
The Marble Hill School for International Studies principal Kirsten Larson said undocumented students tend to have a great work ethic, but sometimes get discouraged once they realize their status will not allow them to apply for FAFSA grants if they want to attend college.
“It will be wonderful,” she said. “This is something we have been hoping for, for years.”
State Sen. Gustavo Rivera was among many city and state politicians to applaud Mr. Obama. He referred to the new policy as “a very big step forward.”
“When you have people that have grown up in this country and were brought here when they were too young to say otherwise and they have proven to be productive members of society … they shouldn’t have to live in the shadows,” Mr. Rivera said.
Not everyone agrees with Mr. Obama, however. Rep. Ben Quayle of Arizona introduced the Prohibiting Back-door Amnesty Act of 2012 to block Mr. Obama’s executive order.
“This end-run around Congress was a direct rebuke to the principle of three co-equal branches of government outlined in our constitution,” Mr. Quayle said in a press release.