Local Hispanic Leaders React To Proposed Reforms - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Hispanic Leaders React To Proposed Reforms

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By Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -  Key Democratic and Republican senators are pledging to get a wide-ranging immigration bill through the Senate by summer even as they point to numerous pitfalls ahead.

The group of eight senators unveiled proposals Monday to secure the border, allow more guest workers, require tougher verification measures by employers and create a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

So what does this bipartisan immigration reform plan mean for Tennessee and the illegal immigrants right here in the mid-state?  One of the area's most outspoken advocates for the Hispanic community says, this is only the first step of a long journey.

"We are one of the fastest growing areas for Hispanics and that's been shown in recent census numbers," said Community Advocate Yuri Cunza.  He said the two parties working together for immigration reform is a great step forward and he is excited.  "The first step is the hardest to take and especially when it has been deadlocked and is not moving anywhere.  It appears it was avoided for many years," said Cunza.

Senator Bob Corker has said what many people feel, Senator Marco Rubio is the key to getting conservatives to support the bill.  Yuri Cunza says he has the star power that draws attention to the issue. "It's going to take time, there is going to be a long waiting list," said Cunza.  "But as long as there is a way to get things fixed, we are going to be ahead of the game."

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