Biden's immigration executive order comes as 'relief' to some in Triangle

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Immigration executive order comes as 'relief' to some in Triangle
Some in the Triangle expressed gratitude for Biden's action but others lamented that documented "dreamers" were not included.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- When news of President Joe Biden's executive order on immigration was announced, Helen Galeas rejoiced. The Raleigh resident and UNC-Charlotte political science graduate finally saw a clearer path to U.S. citizenship.

"It's taken a big relief," Galeas said. "I don't have to keep reapplying for something every two years."

Galeas is a DACA recipient and was included in Biden's order that makes room for college-educated recipients to obtain work visas more quickly.

"It was shocking, bittersweet, and settling and at the same time so happy. Because I was like finally we're getting something that's not too temporary," said Galeas as she learned of the news.

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The order also provides a pathway to lawful permanent resident status for undocumented immigrants who have been married to a U.S. citizen and have resided in the country for at least 10 years, and if applicable, their children as well.

"I feel like I can sleep better tonight," said Galeas.

Documented hopefuls left out

Meanwhile, the order does not apply to documented dreamers, such as Apex's Fedora Castelino.

She's happy for people who will benefit under the order and has been advocating for people like her to be included and protected.

"I feel like my situation is not being prioritized despite it being a very broad issue affecting so many people across the country," said Castelino.

She is joining others, including Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross, in advocating for documented dreamers to enjoy the same protections Biden's executive order targets.

"I can just imagine how relieving it would be for those it does impact," Castelino added, "And I do hope to see that future and security in my own story one day too."

""While today's announcement gets us one step closer to a humane immigration system that supports our workforce needs and reflects our values, I am sorry to see that it does not include relief for documented dreamers," Ross said in a written statement. "These individuals, who grow up in the United States, graduate from American schools, and seek jobs with American companies, still too often must self-deport when they age out of their dependent visas due to long wait times for green cards. I urge President Biden to supplement this important relief for Dreamers and undocumented spouses by issuing similar provisions to allow documented Dreamers to stay and work in the United States."