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They're undocumented and can't vote, but these students have a lot to say about the debate

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They're undocumented and can't vote, but these students have a lot to say about the debate

WATCH  | We viewed the first presidential debate with undocumented students. And they have one big question...

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Undocumented students at George Mason University watch the first presidential debate

Two of the students Circa joined to watch Monday's debate are undocumented. One is now a citizen.

11 million questions

Danna Chavez Calvi will be watching all the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in search of one answer, even though she can't vote:

What will the candidates do with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now?

Chavez Calvi, 23, is one of them. She came to the country on a tourist visa, which then expired (but she stayed) and is now a student at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

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These undocumented students were hopeful the topic of immigration would be addressed during the first debate, but it wasn't.

Mason DREAMers

It's a question that wasn't asked of the candidates by Monday night's debate moderator, Lester Holt. But Chavez Calvi, along with fellow students Damaso Aldair Reyes-Silva and Leohana Magaly Carrera, hopes it's asked in one of the two debates coming up.

The three of them are students and members of Mason DREAMers, a nonpartisan student organization that advocates for undocumented students at George Mason University.

The university has at least 80 undocumented students this year.

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The students said they were happy to see the issue of race addressed, because racial profiling is something people in their community have dealt with.

Who they're voting for

"From the very beginning, I've been trying, really, really hard to give both candidates the benefit of the doubt," said Chavez Calvi.

"I think both of them do have their pros and cons. I don't necessarily appreciate how some candidates communicate themselves."

They'd be lying if they said they weren't leaning toward a certain candidate, but they're still not completely sold on either candidate's plan -- in part because they don't know what those plans are.

Trump's deportation line

The only reference to deportation was made by Donald Trump:

"The other day, we were deporting 800 people, and perhaps they... pressed the wrong button -- or perhaps, worse than that, it was corruption. But these people we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens."

Trump initially vowed to deport all 11 million immigrants who were in the country illegally, but he has since softened that to only criminals.

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This is how the students reacted as Lester Holt made the closing remarks and they realized they would have to wait until the next debate for answers regarding their future in this country.


They want more specifics

Clinton has said she would support Obama's executive actions and a path to citizenship. Still, these undocumented immigrants want more clear plans.

Reyes-Silva, a GMU freshman, wants to know if Trump or Clinton would extend Temporary Protected Status to all undocumented immigrants.

"I just applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)," he said before the debate began Monday night.

Immigration connects all of us together. It connects terrorism. It connects wars.
Magaly Carrera

Magaly Carrera is a U.S. citizen, but she was born in Guatemala. She says she sympathizes with Reyes Silva's desire for answers, because they all share a common thread of experience.

Who do you think will support undocumented immigrants more?

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