Immigration reform redefines life for East Tennesseans

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – President Barack Obama announced new actions regarding the ‘broken’ immigration system on Thursday night. His speech resonated with many immigrants living in East Tennessee.

Carlota Toledo shed tears as she watched President Obama’s speech on immigration reform policy. They were tears for herself and her 15-year-old daughter Alexa.

Obama announced his plan to give millions of families the opportunity to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Obama also announced changes to enforcement policy, family and employment based immigration and integration policies.

She said many of her fears have been lifted.

“Mainly not being deported and be free,” said Carlota.

Dozens of people representing the Alliance of Knoxville’s Immigrant Neighbors and other organization support the new reforms.

The crowd at Packed the Birdhouse Community Center hung on the President’s every word, agreeing with the plan to deport felons, not families.

“There are some that won’t obey the rules,” said Maria Francisco.

Toledo and her daughter say this could be the start of a whole new life for them.

“I feel relieved that she doesn’t always have to worry about us and what would happen to me if something were to happen,” said Toledo’s daughter Alexa.

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