Jan 28, 2013 10:17 AM by Erika Flores

Immigrant waits for path to citizenship

TUCSON - Immigration reform is a hot topic everyone is talking about and how President Obama plans to address immigration issues.

On Tuesday, he will address the public on his plan in Las Vegas where heavy turnout by Hispanic voters in November helped seal his re-election.

In his first term, President Obama focused more on health care and the economy.

Now, as he begins his second term, he's promising to tackle the issue of immigration reform.

I talked to one woman who has been through a lot waiting for this day.

"Karla" was living in the U.S. illegally for seven years waiting for an immigration reform.

"Since it didn't happen, we had to go back to Mexico so we wouldn't be here illegally anymore," said "Karla."

Two of "Karla's" daughters were born in the U.S., but she said it just got too risky to stay in this country even for them.

"We didn't want our children to be scared and think that every time they saw a police officer, their parents would be arrested and deported," said "Karla."

Fear of being separated from their U.S. born children kept Karla and her husband in the shadows.

"I don't think I'll ever come back to live here," she said.

There is over 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. according to the office of immigration statistics.

"I hope that for the good of those people who decided to stay, who want to be able to see their family, President Obama can do what he promised, help pass an immigration reform," said "Karla."

The president is expected to speak on Tuesday about his immigration plan.

The Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is eager to hear what he has to say.

"Certainly an earned path to citizenship which will probably be the most controversial thing that they debate, but that's something we want to hear about. We want to hear about a guest worker program. We want to secure our borders, but we also want to see them expedite trade across the border," said Lea Marquez-Peterson with the chamber.

Congressman Ron Barber supports an immigration plan, but he said he would not support an amnesty program.

"That's not the right way to go. The right way to go is to make sure the people who are here are brought into the public eye and light and that they go to the back of the line and conventionally earn their way to legal status," said Barber.

The president isn't the only one expected to unveil a plan.

A bipartisan group of senators will also present their own plan this week.


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