On Thursday night, President Barack Obama announced that he was taking executive action towards immigration reform, bypassing Congress and saving five million illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation. “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants … What makes us Americans is our shared idea that all men are created equal.”

Recently, host Ari Rabin-Havt from SiriusXM Progress‘ The Agenda received a call from Joe, an undocumented immigrant residing in Florida, who spoke candidly about the impact that President Obama’s plan will have on his family, shedding light on the stigma that many immigrants experience in The United States.

“First off, out of all of the five million people they are referencing,” Joe said. “It’s not all of them. At least 80-90 percent of them are working. They’re just in the shadows.”

So what’s life like being in the shadows? Since arriving in America, life has been incredibly difficult, however, Joe and his wife nevertheless started a family, which classified their children as U.S. citizens. “The thing is, we didn’t just sit down and wait for everything, we started our own business. Very successful. We also run our own ministry.” The family has been in the country for 16 years now.

Caller Joe also discussed some of the prejudice towards immigrants in general, speaking how everyone you meet, comes from an immigrant who has once crossed the border. “For the people sold on the fact that immigrants are taking American jobs, they are not going to be taking American jobs, because they’re already working … The American people need to wake up and stop listening to talking points and find things out for themselves.”

Because Joe’s children are citizens in the U.S., he is one of the many immigrants who qualify under President Obama’s plan. “The reason why this President is getting the resistance that he is getting, is because he’s black. If this was a white president, who had done this, whether he was democrat, or republican … it would have not been an issue.”

Like many other immigrants, Joe continues to pay thousands in taxes, including social security that he will unfortunately, never get to use. “I don’t get anything free from this government” he said. “And who’s benefiting that? This country! … This is not the America that was born and bred.”

Luckily there’s a happy ending for Joe and his family now thanks to President Obama’s immigration plan which will allow him, his wife, and countless other immigrants to apply for working permits, and diffuse any future fears of deportation.

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