Hispanic Oklahomans gather to hear immigration actions

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Dozens of Oklahomans gathered at La Oaxaqueña Bakery on the southside Thursday night, all anxious to hear with the president had planned for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the US.

Many Hispanic Oklahomans were excited to hear the president's announcement, but for many, the permit to stay did not include themselves or their family.

They say the help is not enough.

"It's a victory for me but not for them so I will keep fighting for them and see what we can do," Jose Martinez said.

Martinez qualifies to stay here illegally, his parents do not.

"I entered The United States in 2009," Martinez says.

He's a Dreamer, a child brought to the US illegally.

He was only 11 when he made the trip from Mexico.

"It wasn't an option for me, I just kind of had to come," Martinez says.

The new announcement will only benefit those who arrived as children before 2010.

People who have lived here for five years or longer and have children that are US citizens or residents also qualify.

"I'm going to keep fighting for my parents and other people who were not able to qualify," Martinez said.

Many people like Fredy Valencia are not affected by the president's plan.

"This will not affect me but it will help members of my family and for them I'm very very happy," Valencia said.

Valencia understands it's not a popular change here in Oklahoma.

"These are your neighbors these are your kids' friends. People who go to your church, to go to your school were all part of the same family in the same community," Valencia says.

A community these people are anxious to openly join.

"Now I'm taking college classes so I'm trying to get my Associates degree before I graduate high school and then I want to go to college and get my major in civil engineering," Martinez says.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe released a statement late Thursday night saying in part,

"If the President finds a law problematic, he must work with Congress to change the law. He does not have the constitutional authority to unilaterally declare that a law should not apply to millions in America. But that is what he did tonight when he announced plans to give roughly 5 million illegal immigrants amnesty."

The new announcements will not give undocumented immigrants a road to citizenship or residency.

The action will only serve as temporary permit and a future president could strike down the measures.

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