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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Some local immigrants optimistic about Obama announcement

News that President Barack Obama plans to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to this country as children was greeted happily by some Tampa Bay area residents who are affected, but they also say this isn't the end of their fight. "It's the happiest day of my life," said Paola Everett, who is originally from Bolivia. "I was like, beyond even my wedding day. It's beyond my wedding day. Really. It's the happiest day of my life." Everett said she was an undocumented resident for most of her life, living in fear of deportation. She said only her best friend knew she was undocumented. "It's not only a big weight off my shoulders because I've been fighting for this for so long. But it's a weight off everyone's shoulders," she said. "This is definitely not the end. We're going to still fight for a path to citizenship like it should be."
Pamela Gomez came to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was 5. "We're so happy because it's legalizing our students in one way," she said, "and it's gonna take them out of the shadows and be without fear to go out in their communities and actually go about their lives," Jose Manuel Godinez Samperio, who is from Mexico and is a member of United We Dream Tampa Bay, said he has heard similar news before from the president and is greeting the news with qualified jubilance. "At first I was extremely skeptical and actually, I'm still a bit skeptical about it," he said, but he added he thinks it's for real this time. He still worries about how it will be implemented. "The real Dream Act is one where ideally we would get a green card and if everything went right, ideally a path to citizenship, and this, at least the way my lawyers have explained it to me it just means that I'm still deportable, but I'm deportable on a very low priority.

News Channel 8 reporter Peter Bernard contributed to this report.

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