LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Immigrant families and advocates gathered Monday at a viewing party to watch President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports the group gathered at the headquarters for Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), where many in the crowd were hoping the President will use his second term to advance comprehensive immigration reform in Congress.
“He said that he would do an immigration reform, if he was reelected,” undocumented resident Isabel Medina said.
The mother of three, who has lived in the United States for 16 years, didn’t vote in the 2012 election because she doesn’t have a driver’s license or social security number.
“We are counting on him, the same way as he counted on us when he needed it,” Medina said.
19-year-old Alison Lwingus – a U.S. citizens whose parents are undocumented – became teary-eyed when she heard Obama call for a better way for immigrants like her family.
But Loingues admitted she may have to be patient while waiting for the president to make immigration reform a reality.
“He has all the support that he needs from us, from the people, but I know it’s very difficult for him in Congress, and I know that it’s gonna take a while,” she said.
CHIRLA members placed a chair in the room bearing the number of immigrants deported in the past four years as a symbol of their longing to officially be called Americans.
“The empty chair represents the 1,500,284 individuals that have been deported, exiled from a country they call home,” Jorge-Mario Cabrera said. “We want a path to citizenship.”