Daughter of undocumented immigrants responds to president's declaration

Published: Nov. 1, 2018 at 10:27 PM CDT
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President Trump has declared that he wishes to change the Constitutional Amendment that grants U.S. citizenship to any person born in the United States by an executive order. One local woman who has benefited from that privilege is speaking out.

"My birthright citizenship is not a debate." declares Maggie Cazarez.

President Trump believes this is a right the U.S. should no longer grant to immigrant families.

Alexis Steele is an immigration attorney at the Immigrant Legal Center in Omaha and is skeptical about the President's ambitions.

"He can write what he wants, but the real question is in the power and effect of that writing. We don't have anything in our law that would enable him to amend the Constitution with an executive order." she explains.

Maggie Cazarez is a living testament to this right.

"Anyone that is born here in the United States, on this soil, is a U.S. citizen." says Maggie.

Maggie was born in Texas and grew up in Omaha. Her mother was pregnant when she and Maggie's father came to the United States.

Maggie knew no difference between herself and her undocumented parents until she was ten years old. Her dad had to return home to take care of her sick grandmother.

"I would always ask him, 'When are you coming back?' he would say, 'I can't. I can't come back.' and I would say, 'Well why not? Why can't you be here?" she remembers.

She's seen her father just three times in the past 13 years.

Maggie graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May and joined the Immigrant Legal Center in communications and development.

She is using her citizenship to reunite with her father and help others stuck in the immigration system.

"It's impacting my friends. It's impacting my family. It's impacting me. That made me realize I wanted to go in to immigration and I wanted to make a difference...Regardless of your citizenship, regardless of your race, regardless of your ethnicity, we should all be embraced." she says.