Las Vegas Family Spurs Change in Immigration Policy - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Family Spurs Change in Immigration Policy

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Edith Fawkes, her son Bryan Zurcher and Senator Harry Reid. Edith Fawkes, her son Bryan Zurcher and Senator Harry Reid.

LAS VEGAS -- A new policy is now in effect that could potentially help thousands of people who want to immigrate their families to the United States.

U.S. Senator Harry Reid was in Las Vegas Monday to talk about the change and how it wouldn't have happened, but for the persistence of one Las Vegas woman.

It all started with a young mother who came to Las Vegas wanting a better life for herself and her only son. Bryan Zurcher, who is now 17, couldn't speak English which resulted in some miscommunication with immigration officials.

Senator Reid helped make the change happen after he heard the family's story.

"This was the case where common sense and justice needed to be brought to the forefront," Senator Reid said.

"We now live in the same house," Edith Fawkes said.

Fawkes moved to the U.S. in 2002, got married to an American citizen, and began the process of bringing her only son to the U.S. from her native Mexico. But during an immigration interview in 2010, Fawkes said officials misinterpreted her son's statement that he was an American citizen, when he actually wasn't. That's when Bryan was permanently barred from entering the U.S.

"I had to make a choice go back to my country or keep fighting for him," Fawkes said.

She took her case Senator Reid and three years later the Department of Homeland Security agreed to change its policy and it will no longer hold statements made by children against them during an immigration process.

Senator Reid says to avoid more cases like this, comprehensive immigration reform is needed.

"The situation of Bryan, it's not good for the country, we need to get this issue resolved," Sen. Reid said.

Fawkes is thankful to finally have her son back in her life.


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