CHARLOTE, N.C. -- Local students celebrated President Barack Obama’s announcement Friday that young illegal immigrants will no longer face deportation.
It marks a big day for people like Elver Barrios. There are interviews to do, pictures to take and people to congratulate.
The founder of a Charlotte youth group pushing for immigration reform, he and a handful of others--mostly high school students--crowded into a room to watch the President announce young illegal immigrants will no longer have to live in fear of deportation.
“I couldn’t believe it at first. We weren’t expecting it, but it’s just great all the work we’ve done finally paid off,” Barrios, 21, said.
“It’s scary the thought that I go out every day, I make a living, go to school, go to buy milk that something could happen and I end up in deportation proceedings,” Barrios added.
Elver moved to the United States at 14, graduated from West Mecklenburg High School and is now a Johnson C. Smith student. He also runs his own business.
“At first I didn’t know what to do so my brothers and I started a business. I couldn’t work for anybody else. The only solution was I need to make money. Why not start a business?”
In fact he missed the President’s speech because he had to leave for work. The rest of the group, though, watched closely.
“It means I’ll be able to stay here legally, that I can work,” he added. “Just to be able to live without fear of going out every day and being scared.”