Local immigrants rally for Governor Pence to drop lawsuit

March 14, 2015 | WRTV Channel 13 | Link to Article


INDIANAPOLIS - Saturday was supposed to be an exciting day for immigrants in Indianapolis.

They were hoping to learn more and sign up for new benefits that would allow them to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. But, a lawsuit freezing those benefits turned a day of celebration into something much different. Instead of signing up for those expanded benefits, they turned the meeting into a prayer vigil and plea for help.
Indiana is one of 26 states that has filed a lawsuit to stop the expansion of immigration rights -- rights many at Saturday's rally were counting on.

Edgar Felex came to the U.S. from Mexico 10 years ago when he was only 15 years old. He lives in constant fear that he or a family member will be deported. "It's a worry daily because I drive to work daily and sometimes I work out of town. I'm afraid to get pulled over and I don't know what's going to happen if I go to jail or if I'm going to see my family again," Felex said.

In November, President Barack Obama signed an executive order for immigration reform that would allow more immigrant families to legally stay in the U.S. for longer without the fears Edgar has.

"The president is simply saying we have a priority of who we're going to deport. If we're not going to deport the 5 million people, why not give them something to go on to be able to work and provide for their families while they're here," explained Tim Winn with Indianapolis Immigration Services.

"We're not here to hurt people. We're here to work and make the difference between everybody," said Felex.

And they're hoping Governor Pence will be the first to lead the way in dropping the lawsuit.

"I love this country. I love this state," said Felex.

The immigrants gathered Saturday said it's not a question of if, but when they'll get their expanded benefits. In the meantime, they're preparing for just that.