Local reaction to president's immigration plans

Posted at: 01/29/2013 5:21 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Two different people, both immigrants. One documented, and the other undocumented. They both attest to the same thing: Regardless of status, the road to citizenship is a tough one they are hoping will soon begin to change.

Liz Carrasco is in her second year of studying political science and Spanish at UNM.  She is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico.

"I am not a legal resident or citizen," Carrasco said.

She does not work, cannot get health care or receive any financial aid for school. But, despite these challenges, it is her dream to become a U.S. Citizen.

"I would benefit a lot from it because I wouldn't be living in the shadows like I've been doing," Carrasco said.

Bob Franklin, president of Budget Transmission Masters, said he understands the frustration.

"Well, simply there is no pathway," Franklin said.

Franklin legally came to Albuquerque from England 20 years ago, and is still trying to become a citizen.

"Sadly, I'm not even a green card holder," Franklin said.  "Our ability to stay in the country is dictated by way of renewing a visa, and that, we have to do every five years."

His 22-year-old son, Matthew, has an aeronautical degree, but no U.S. citizenship, and now risks deportation this summer.

Regardless of legal or illegal status, both Franklin and Carrasco think of themselves as Americans.

"It's kinda wrong to say that you're an illegal just because you're here illegally, when you've been here all of your life," Carrasco said.

"Hopefully politicians will be smart enough to embrace some of these other issues which obviously get lost," Franklin said.