Immigration advocates and undocumented immigrants confident about reform
Fri, 15 Feb 2013 23:18:21 GMT —
The president laid out his priorities for the country in his second term, one of them is immigration. It's not a new topic, but is one that's on the minds of leaders in Washington.
Illegal immigration and what to do about it has been a hot topic. Do you deport, grant amnesty, or provide a path to citizenship?
Paulino Pineda of the Dominican Republic has been in the U.S. undocumented for 13 years and he's throwing his complete support behind reform, "One of the reasons is because there's a lot of people that support the economy of this country and they're not viewed here in the United States."
"There is going to be immigration reform," that's the prediction labor organizer Baldemar Velasquez has on talks currently underway in congress.
His labor union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO is one of many working on immigration reform deals in Washington.
Congress held meetings on the issue this week, so what prompted the call for action? "The last election, many of the republicans were very anti-immigrant in their rhetoric in the primaries and the Latino voters remembered that," explains Velasquez.
"We've seen that in states that do take a variety of actions to discourage illegal immigration, they succeed. We've given them a free public education courtesy the American tax payer and were just simply saying will you please follow our laws and be an adult," explains Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
While supporters and opponents go back on forth on chances of reform actually happening, Javier Beltran of Mexico isn't holding his breath, "because since 2000, there's been talk about laws changing and it hasn't happened."
Beltran, also an undocumented immigrant isn't concerned about telling his story. He came to America 17 years ago and has two children both born in the U.S. He came looking for opportunity, and is still looking for it, "it's been very, very difficult finding a steady job. I want to go back to Mexico, but sometimes when he thinks about it, it's because he can't find a steady job."
One reason the advocates and immigrants I spoke with feel confident in reform is because in the past talks on reform have stalled. Currently a bi-partisan group of lawmakers have agreed some kind of path towards citizenship is needed.