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President Obama to address immigration during Las Vegas speech

President Obama to address immigration during Las Vegas speech

By Molly Waldron. CREATED Jan 28, 2013

PROGRAM NOTE: The appearance by President Obama is not open to the general public. Action News Channel 13 will carry his speech live. It is expected to begin at about 11:55 a.m.

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The Hispanic vote was key to President Obama's win the first time, but many felt he didn't keep his promise to focus on immigration reform.

Locals are weighing in on what they expect from the president the second time around.

"We're hoping that this time the time is right, we have to do this we can't keep all these families in the shadows, keep the wondering what their futures hold for them. We need to get this done and we need to do it right," said Laura Martin, Communications Director for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Many people in Las Vegas have high hopes for the President's remarks on Tuesday. He's speaking at Del Sol High School, and plans to a strong focus on immigration reform.

"I expect his plan to include a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people who live here in the United States," said Martin. "I expect him to demand that the dream act is finally passed."

Less than a year ago, deferred action changed the immigration landscape, allowing some young people who came to the U.S. at a young age to dodge the constant threat of deportation. But to many, like Blanca Gomez of Las Vegas, that's not enough.

"We need a pathway for citizenship," said Blanca. "There's 11 million immigrants in this country. They need citizenship and they deserve the right, I think, in my opinion, to be able to have it." 

Blanca's lived in Las Vegas since she was seven months old and went to college at UNLV. But she's still a long ways away from actually becoming a citizen.

"Our immigration system is broken as of now, we have laws that are just making it difficult and separating families at this moment," Blanca said.

It's an issue close to the hearts of Hispanics and Latinos. A group that makes up more than 30 percent of Las Vegas' population, many of whom hope the president's address leads to some major changes.