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"It’s very good that they have given me more time," Cañenquez says, "but I don’t feel tranquil because I don’t know if they will suddenly say in one moment or another that now your time is up and you have to leave."
She is grateful for every extra moment she has to spend with her family together and to try to save money for what lies ahead. "I am trying to enjoy my family a little, now that I have been given time."
Obama » Cañenquez says that Obama provided hope this week when he said that because immigration reform has been blocked in Congress, he will take steps without lawmakers to fix as much of the system as he can on his own.
"The only thing I can’t do," he said, "is stand by and do nothing."
Obama did not spell out many specifics, other than to say more ICE agents may be transferred from the interior of the country to the borders and that he would seek to accelerate cases of unaccompanied minors who were arrested at the border.
But, Cañenquez says, "It gives us hope that he will do something," and that her temporary reprieve could develop into something more.
Yapias says many immigrants hope that Obama may expand the sort of prosecutorial discretion shown to Cañenquez.
"We hope they will look at the threat posed by people on a case-by-case basis," Yapias says, "and target criminals who have done truly bad things — but not those who maybe didn’t pay a traffic ticket, or whose families would be separated."
Muñoz says ICE’s priorities already point in that general direction.
"ICE’s civil immigration enforcement priorities include the apprehension of criminal aliens and other immigration violators in the interior of the United States; and the detention and removal of individuals apprehended by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States."
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