Emotional moments at Immigration Town Hall at the NY Public Library

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Channel 7, Univision and community organizations from across New York City hosted a public town hall to answer questions about immigration.

The meeting followed last week's Supreme Court vote on the DACA/DAPA case that halted President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

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Joe Torres has the latest details.

The free English/Spanish town hall took place at the New York Public Library Thursday evening.
It was an emotional moment for Cesar Pirela in front of hundreds of people at the town hall meeting.

The Venezuelan immigrant hasn't seen his family in nearly 30 years.

Pirela explained he's carried a legal social security number and legal driver's license for nearly three decades.

But, the road to citizenship has been long, costly and so far fruitless.

The 60-year-old misses his 27-year-old daughter and elderly mother who remain in South America.

Thursday night, Pirela and hundreds of others got the chance to ask questions about what steps they can take.

"They'll be connected to legal service providers so can talk to lawyers. You're going to get information on healthcare social services, going to find out where they can go they have questions over the summer, going to get a lot of information about how not to become the victims of fraud," said Camille Mackler, NYC Immigration Coalition.

NYC Immigration Coalition partnered with ABC7 and Univision 41 in this community outreach forum.

Patricia Brodin says she was devastated by last week's Supreme Court deadlock vote on immigration relief.

"I find something today from the lawyer over there they tell me I'm eligible to get a work Visa for people like me who came here like a tourist from France and I never left. I had my kid born here and I'm on the deportation list," said Brodin, a French immigrant.

During a Facebook Live with viewers we received passionate debate from both sides of the issue, with some pointing to national security.

But those at this town hall meeting feel deportation is not the solution.

"Why are we considering deportation? We are all Americans, those are here and are not Americans, and they should have the opportunity to become Americans. But to try to just yank families apart for what? What are we saying to the world kind of people are we?" said Rudolph Jeffrey, an American Citizen.

For more information on the immigration hotline and town hall, click here.
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