Undocumented Rockford woman speaks out about immigration reform - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Undocumented Rockford woman speaks out about immigration reform

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President Obama talks about immigration reform in Nevada. President Obama talks about immigration reform in Nevada.
Group of new American citizens take the citizenship oath. Group of new American citizens take the citizenship oath.
Alma Serrano (left) talks with Maria Pina about immigration reform. Alma Serrano (left) talks with Maria Pina about immigration reform.
ROCKFORD (WREX) -

A path to becoming a U.S. citizen could be in millions of illegal immigrants' future. Both the White House and the Senate proposed immigration reform.

Not an issue often agreed on but right now there is bipartisan cooperation between republicans and democrats calling for changes to how people become citizens.

"We all know that today we have an immigration system that's out of date and badly broken; a system that's holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class," says President Obama.

Lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate Monday. It includes tightening border security and also a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America. People like Maria Pina. She has three children who are American citizens and she lives in fear she will be deported.

"I have a son that has diabetes and he depends on me right now," says Pina thought a translator.

Others like Alma Serrano became an American citizen but many in her family are not. She worries about her undocumented brother. He lives in the U.S. and owns a business despite being illegal.

"He pays taxes like any other U.S. citizen so I believe there is a lot of people who really want to work, want to have education, want to have a better life. They don't care if they have to mop the floors, they don't care if they have to wash the clothes people," says Serrano.

In the proposal put together by a group of Senate republicans and democrats the path to citizens includes paying fines and back taxes, undergoing criminal background checks and learning English.

But conservative groups criticize it as amnesty for undocumented immigrants.

"No one should expect members of the Senate are just going to rubber-stamp what a group has met and decided," says Senator Jeff Sessions, a republican from Alabama.

The President said if there's is too much delay passing this proposal he will send his own legislation to Capitol Hill.

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