Atlanta’s Latino Community Weighs In On Obama’s Expected Immigration Actions | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta’s Latino Community Weighs In On Obama’s Expected Immigration Actions

Nov 20, 2014

President Obama is expected to announce Thursday night he’ll expand his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The policy provides temporary deportation relief for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. WABE’s Martha Dalton asked some in Atlanta’s Latino community to weigh in on the issue.

At Plaza Fiesta, a shopping mall on Buford Highway, Roberto Jimenez stands at a counter selling items like t-shirts. He says expanding the DACA program is a good idea.

Immigration reform advocates rallied last year outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Downtown Atlanta.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

“There are a lot of people afraid to buy houses, afraid to buy cars,” he says.

Jimenez says if people don’t have to worry about being deported, they won’t be afraid to buy those things, and that will be good for the economy.

But jeweler Diana Halachiuga thinks it’s a mistake for the president to act on his own.

“He had many years ago to take the decision with time, and he didn’t,” she says. “So now, just because he feels the pressure for the politics, he’s going to do that. So, I think it’s not going to be right.”

Travel agent Gabriela Boyd disagrees. She says Mr. Obama had to do something because Congress wouldn’t act.

Some patrons didn’t want to speak on tape, but shared a common opinion: kick the “bad people” out and let the "good ones" stay.