Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In Kendall on Thursday, 153 people from 26 countries swore to protect the United States, as they became U.S. citizens. But the star-spangled moment had something of a cloud over all the waving flags.
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to deport every undocumented immigrant from the United States.
Few among the newly minted Americans Thursday don’t have friends or relatives Trump would send packing.
“He said that all of them are criminals,” said Annette Jimenez from the Dominican Republic, clutching her certificate of citizenship. “I don’t believe that’s true. Many of them actually came here to achieve their dreams.”
Among the millions Trump would deport are hundreds of thousands of “Dreamers,” students who President Barack Obama granted protection from deportation.
“They are up against losing their future. They are absolutely traumatized,” said Cheryl Little of the organization Americans For Immigrant Justice.
Some among those pledging allegiance to America Thursday wondered how Trump can accomplish the massive undertaking of deporting millions of people.
“I wonder about how he’s going to take everybody out,” said Estrella Barbosa from Costa Rica. “How’s he going to do it? I don’t think he can do it.”
Those calling for total immigration reform say the current system is unfair. They point to Trump’s wife, Melania, a Slovenian, who got her green card for having special skills – modeling.
“Whether it’s Melania Trump or someone else, we ought to have the same sense of justice and fairness for every American. No more, no less,” said Dave Lawrence of the Children’s Movement of Florida.
At the swearing-in ceremony, new citizens said they hope Trump will have a change of heart.
“He hasn’t done anything yet,” said Hector Sousa from Venezuela. “I hope he changes what he said before he was elected.”
Some of the new Americans said they would remind Trump that among their newfound inalienable rights is the right to vote.
Click here to read more about Campaign 2016.