Immigration reform

Dear Editor:You talk a big game, Mr. President, and while we agree with your stance when it comes to immigration reform, we have difficulty accepting that change will truly occur. Mr. President, while initially campaigning, you spoke to the Latino community and made promises for immigration reform. You brought hope to the hopeless; you instilled confidence in the Latino people for a legal future. Mr. President, you even got the attention of some of our parents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We saw the hope in their eyes that one day they could become citizens. It is because of this hope that we, U.S. citizens, voted for you in 2008. Watching your most recent State of the Union address left both us and our family members disappointed. Two years in a row you have stated that you will "sign it right away," referring to immigration reform laws. Yet, no change has occurred and no laws have been signed. It is hard to believe that a comprehensive immigration reform will be passed when all the focus is on securing borders, rather than on attempting to enact a plan that will provide undocumented immigrants the same rights that U.S. citizens take for granted every day. Mr. President, you recently spoke very eloquently regarding students who are allowed to study in the U.S., but who unfortunately must return to their native countries once their student visas expire. It's true, this policy makes no sense. Why not allow bright, inspired and dedicated students to remain in the U.S. and contribute to our economy? If your immigration reform plans to provide incentives to those foreign-born educated entrepreneurs by giving them speedier, more accessible immigration statuses to stimulate our economy, why not start looking at the immigrant community in our country who work hard to obtain an education and who dream only to have a second chance to be first-class citizens? Furthermore, why not allow all undocumented immigrants who are committed to contributing to our economy the opportunity to gain legal citizenship in a speedy and less expensive manner? Individuals who harvest our food, clean our homes and construct our buildings. These folks are doing the jobs that are crucial and they are doing them well without hesitation, but how are they rewarded and acknowledged? There are many intelligent, bright and successful individuals waiting for the opportunity to contribute to our society. We stand behind them, Mr. President, pleading with you to make good on your promises. Please make 2013 the year for immigration reform. Elizabeth Chalme, Vanessa Gonzales, Karina Quintero, Angela Ruiz and Miriam Vitela Downey

********** Published: February 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 46