Latinos react to proposed immigration reform - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Latinos react to proposed immigration reform

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It's what some Latinos in Charlotte have been waiting for.

"It's definitely not every day that you hear anything bipartisan going through specially an immigration reform bill," said undocumented college student Selene Medina.

She has been pushing for a nationwide, comprehensive immigration plan.

"We are really excited because we are really seeing movement," said Medina.

The plan, proposed Monday by a bipartisan group of senators, would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

And it would allow more low-skilled workers into the country by establishing an agricultural worker program.

But after reading the plan Selene is skeptical.

"You got to question ok well what status are they going to be in," said Medina.

"As we see now under deferred action, those people are lawfully present and we are still having issues with licenses."

"The framework that they came up with is very vague," said Armando Bellmas with the Latin American Coalition.

Bellmas decried the plan because it calls for a secure border before undocumented immigrants are granted citizenship.

He says the reform simply gives the appearance of a path to citizenship while in reality obstructing that process.

"For the past few years we've spent over $18 billion dollars on immigration enforcement," said Bellmas.

"We need a pathway to citizenship without anything contingent on it."

In a statement to WBTV Republican Senator Burr agreed the nation needs a reform of its immigration laws.

Burr said he will review the plan's details in hopes of reaching a deal that will benefit the nation and its people.

There are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Medina believes many of them could contribute more to society if they had proper documentation.

"Immigrants with taxes and revenues that they create can generate up to $14 billion dollars."

"That's something that we definitely need in the big deficit that we are in."

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