Bay Area to closely monitor Obama's immigration action

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ByVic Lee KGO logo
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Bay Area waits to hear Obama's speech on immigration
Many in the Bay Area are waiting to hear the stance President Obama will take on immigration when he addresses the issue Thursday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many in the Bay Area will be watching President Obama very closely when he unveils his administrative stance on immigration Thursday.

Some are hoping he will take a bold and inclusive step on immigration. Others believe it's Congress, and not the president that ought to legislate immigration issues.

When President Obama came to Chinatown in May to talk about immigration reform, the unexpected happened. He was heckled by Ju Hong, an undocumented Korean graduate student disappointed that Mr. Obama didn't talk about it.

Hong is one of the so-called "Dreamers". They are young, undocumented immigrants who are temporarily protected from deportation and can work legally in the U.S. The president signed that executive order two years ago. He's hoping that the president will take another bold step and extend the same protection to members of his family.

"Currently, my mom and my sister do not have any protection and I hope the administration will include my mom and older sister," said Hong.

Leo Lacayo is a veteran immigration consultant. He's also a proud Republican who's active in his party's politics.

Lacayo supports what the president is expected to do, protect millions of unauthorized immigrants from deportation and provide work permits.

"I think he can expand those limits and bring more people under those umbrellas, whereas they're temporarily protected until congress does its job which is to finish immigration reform," said Lacayo.

"He got his tail handed to him this last election and now he's acting like a spoiled brat," said Republican Steve Kemp.

Kemp thinks Obama is overstepping his boundaries.

"To say you're not deporting anybody, they ought to be at the border and not letting them in to begin with. And if they are here, they ought to be looking at how to get rid of them," said Kemp.

Senate Republican leaders are calling the President's action unconstitutional and illegal.

The White House won't go into details but Mr. Obama is also expected to broaden the Visa programs for highly skilled tech workers. That's something Silicon Valley has been lobbying for, for some time.