Nevadans await immigration announcement from Obama

Del Sol High School seems to be one of President Barack Obama’s favorite places to visit in Las Vegas, but on Wednesday no one could explain why.

On Friday, Obama will visit the campus at 3100 E. Patrick Lane, near McLeod Drive, for the third time in six years.

The high school, where about 63 percent of students are Hispanic, is about two miles from McCarran International Airport. About 13 percent of Del Sol students are English Language Learners, which is below the state average of 15 percent, according to Del Sol’s 2013-14 accountability report.

David Roddy, spokesman with the Clark County School District, referred questions about Obama’s location selection to White House staff, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.

On Wednesday, people in Southern Nevada were anxiously awaiting Obama’s announcement involving immigration expected today, which will be followed by his visit to Del Sol on Friday.

Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce President Otto Merida said someone from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office called to invite him to the event.

“We are very proud because the president chose the state of Nevada,” Merida said in Spanish on Wednesday, adding that he might not be able to attend.

Astrid Silva, a local immigration activist, also has been invited to the event at Del Sol, said Laura Martin with the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. However, she wasn’t given a time, she said.

Obama first visited Del Sol when he was a presidential candidate in 2008. That is also where he first laid out a broad immigration plan in January 2013.

Blanca Gamez, a DREAMer, or a child who entered the United States without proper documentation, attended last year’s event. However, she hasn’t heard anything regarding Friday’s event. If invited, she said she would definitely attend.

She speculated that Obama is coming to Nevada because of the state’s growing immigrant population and the issue of residents in the country illegally.

“I’m hoping he’s going to finally take a stance and hopefully we’ll hear good news,” Gamez said. “It’s a good step in the right direction. At the end of the day, this is an issue that affects 11 million individuals. Somebody knows someone who is undocumented.”

Luz Marina Mosquera, director at Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional in Las Vegas, said the organization will have a public gathering at 5 p.m. to hear Obama’s announcement today. The nonprofit group offers immigration assistance.

“To hear what he will say, what he will give us, and well, to celebrate,” she said when asked about the purpose of the gathering. “The immigrant community has been waiting for something.”

Gloria Rodriguez, also a DREAMer, said she was very happy when she found out about Obama’s plans to take action on immigration and to visit Las Vegas.

“It’s such a victory to have him in our city and we are just waiting to see what he’s going to announce and who is going to benefit,” she said.

Roddy said district officials on Wednesday had limited details on Obama’s visit.

“We don’t even know at what time” he’s coming, he said. “We are kind of in the dark.”

Larry Hadfield, spokesman with the Metropolitan Police Department, said information about road closures will not be made public in advance for security reasons.

“People planning on traveling during the day Friday should plan on leaving a little earlier to their destination,” he said. There’s no time frame for when road closures might take place.

Metro assists with the president’s motor­cade. Hadfield said he wasn’t able to say how many Metro officers were going to be working the motorcade.

Contact Yesenia Amaro at or 702-383-0440. Find her on Twitter: @YeseniaAmaro.

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