As President Barack Obama outlined his plan for comprehensive immigration reform today, a group of local immigrants and advocates for reform gathered to hear what the president had to say.
Approximately 100 people showed up to watch the president at the Langley Park headquarters of Casa de Maryland. When Mr. Obama called for a plan to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to earn their way to U.S. citizenship, guarded optimism turned to elation.
Ricardo Campos is originally from El Salvador. A pre-med student at Montgomery College, Campos say the president's words are encouraging.
"We want a path to citizenship," Campos says. "We don't want any more excuses; we're going to demand it and we re ready to mobilize."
Brad Botlin is the director of HelpSaveMaryland.org. Botlin rejects any plan that allows undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship.
"The millions we're talking about are uneducated, poorly skilled, and highly dependent on social services," Botlin says. "If all these folks become legal, it will be a tremendous burden on our infrastructure."
Campos says that immigrants will still have to earn their way towards citizenship.
Although the initiative has bi-partisan support the president warned he will move unilaterally if congress fails to act in a timely fashion.