Mother, Worker Anxious for Immigration Reform - 8 News NOW

Mother, Worker Anxious for Immigration Reform

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LAS VEGAS -- Eight Democratic and Republican senators said they will push a wide-ranging immigration plan through the chamber by summer.

The proposals unveiled Monday ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Las Vegas Tuesday include securing the border, allowing more guest workers and a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already in the country.

The senators said they are hopeful even though similar efforts to pass immigration reform in the past have failed.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has already come out against the plan, saying immigration legislation is too important to be "written in a back room."

The proposal the president will outline will have a significant impact in Nevada because thousands of jobs in the Las Vegas valley are filled by illegal immigrants.

When Cynthia Ortega was just 2 years old, she immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her parents.

"We come here to get better opportunities and better life to our family," she said.

Decades later, Ortega still lives in Las Vegas with her husband and children.

Without a social security number or work card, she said she fears that one day she will be deported and separated from her young boys.

"I always wake up thinking that's it's going to be better, but there's always that doubt in me," she said. "What's going to happen to me, what is going to happen to my children."

Immigration attorney Jon Garde said Ortega is just one of many.

"There are over 400,000 (foreign-born residents) in Las Vegas," Garde said. "Of those, probably a quarter are undocumented."

With a new immigration framework unveiled Monday, Garde said immigrants might soon be able to come out of hiding and work freely.

Nevada's U.S. senators showed approval for the proposed reform.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will do everything in his power as the Democratic leader "to get a bill across the finish line."

Republican Sen. Dean Heller called the bipartisan proposal an encouraging move toward creating "an orderly immigration process for those wishing to take part in the American dream."

Ortega said she is anxious about the new possibilities an immigration reform bill may bring, including the chance to secure a job.

"We are not just here to sit around and wait for the days to go over," she said.

Obama is scheduled to address a crowd at Del Sol High School about noon Tuesday.

He's expected to speak about his longstanding plan that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in Las Vegas. His visit is not open to the public, but 8NewsNow.com will stream his speech live.

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