Blumenthal backing immigration reform

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- One of Connecticut's US Senators says he wants to tackle immigration reform, one of the most divisive issues our country faces. He's backing a plan that would make it easier for illegal immigrants to become legal citizens.

11 million people in this country are undocumented. There is a fear among many young people, that while they are protected, there parents could be deported. Senator Blumenthal says now is the time to erase that fear.

We are a country of immigrants, a nation that prides itself in "the melting pot." The pursuit of this American dream has always driven many to come here, a dream that hasn't really changed.

"We just want to be able to have some sort of ID, be able to get a job, be able to be like everybody else," said Matias Garcia of Meriden.

18-year-old Matias Garcia, from Uruguay stood on a stage with his sister Sabrina as well as senior senator Richard Blumenthal to discuss the need for an overhaul to America's immigration laws, supporting the President's vision announced last week.
"We need to seize this moment, because it is a historic opportunity," said Sen. Blumenthal.

For now, students like Matias and Sabrina say are able to live here because of "deferred action," a Homeland Security measure protecting young people from deportation but adults do not have that same privledge.

"It bothers me 'cause, yeah, me and my brother might not be able to get deported, but what if my parents one day do. We can't stay here on our own," said Sabrina Garcia.

Senator Blumenthal says sweeping change comes with responsiblities.

"Senator, what kind of fight are you expecting with this because there have been those in the House who say this is providing amensty for people who have knowingly broken the law," asked News 8's Jamie Muro.

"This program is not about amensty, it's about a pathway to earn citizenship for people who qualify," said Sen. Blumenthal.

People looking to share that dream like the millions before them.

"Our whole life is over here, pretty much we grew up in this country," said Matias Garcia.

Senator Blumenthal says an immigration bill could be debated in D.C. as early as this spring.

Copyright 2014 WTNH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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