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North Texas immigration advocate praises Biden's effort to secure U.S.-Mexico border

North Texas immigration advocates praise Biden's effort to secure U.S.-Mexico border
North Texas immigration advocates praise Biden's effort to secure U.S.-Mexico border 03:08

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After more than a year of complaints and calls for action especially from Texas leaders, President Biden announces plans to make the U.S. border with Mexico more secure.  

That plan announced Thursday at the White House also reduces the number of immigrants allowed from Mexico and four other countries where most of the people have been coming from. 

Immigration advocates are actually praising the President's effort to secure the border.

But there's anger and frustration that Biden still hasn't addressed how to deal with millions of immigrants who have been living and working in the U.S. illegally for years including 1.7 million people here in Texas.

A woman on a phone from Mexico shares one of the countless horror stories going on right now involving families at the border. 

"For $5,000, he could help get her husband get out of jail in Laredo," said Carlos Quintanilla, with Accion America.

The woman, who says she was promised a better life in the U.S., faces ransom demands from human smugglers, known as coyotes. 

"She can't be released because the coyotes won't let her go until they pay her $7,500 for her to get released," Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla tries to help people like this every day through his organization in North Texas. 

That's why he's glad to see President Biden issue executive orders that clamp down on illegal border crossings. 

"If there's anything I agree with Biden on, this plan it's attacking the smuggling operations, and trying to curtail that," Quintanilla said.

"We can't stop people from making the journey," Biden said at a press conference. "But we can require them to come here in an orderly way under U.S. law." 

Biden announced a new immigration policy that will immediately expel migrants crossing illegally from Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti. 

The policy already applies to migrants from Venezuela. 

The U.S. will accept 30,000 a month from those countries if they apply through a legal process and have a financial sponsor in the U.S. 

"And let me say it again – the actions we're announcing today will make things better, will make things better, but will not fix the border problems completely," Biden continued.

But civil rights activists, like Quintanilla, say it's disappointing that the new policy does not include a path to legal status for the millions of Mexican immigrants who have been living and raising families here for decades without documentation. 

"There's anger and frustration with Biden, because he promised in his campaign that there would be comprehensive immigration reform," Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla says this woman living in Dallas is an example of the broken immigration system for those who want to be here legally. 

"I've been trying for a year to get her appointment so she can get her passport," Quintanilla said. "Without her passport, she can't go to Parkland. She can't go see a doctor. She can't rent an apartment. She can't go see her children in school."

The new immigration policy comes days before Biden makes his first trip to the border as president this weekend. 

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