Immigration Reform: Immigrants Hope Congress Heard President Obama

Immigrants who heard President Obama’s speech on immigration reform are hoping Congress was listening.

President Barack Obama focused most of his State of the Union address on the country’s economy and gun laws, despite a fierce battle over US immigration reform policy recently.

According to Fox News, President Obama praised lawmakers for working on immigration reform and called on them to send him the bill in the next few months.

Lorenzo Montenegro, 43 is the father of four and works in a midtown Manhattan restaurant where entrees are quite expensive. His culinary specialty, cactus, scored him a job and visa to come to the US shortly before 2000. According to the Huffington Post, Montenegro’s pay is not enough to cover the cost of his eldest daughter’s education at New York’s City College, so she works part-time in the same restaurant. Montenegro said the job is a godsend because she’s had to leave other restaurants over discrimination for her undocumented status.

Sandra Zamora, 30, is a mother of one, working as an ambulance dispatcher. She is the only one of her siblings born in the US, out of five who live in New York. Listening to President Obama’s State of the Union Address, she started to cry. Most of Zamora’s family and closest friends are undocumented.

President Obama’s speech said a path to citizenship includes background checks, paying taxes and learning English, and is a necessity for any kind of immigration reform. Obama was accompanied by applause from lawmakers as he said:

“As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away and America will be better for it. … Real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.”

What do you think of President Obama’s speech on immigration reform?