Immigration reform will have huge impact locally

Posted at: 01/28/2013 4:55 PM
Updated at: 01/28/2013 5:23 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Illegal immigrants have been living and working in New Mexico for decades.

Ralph Arellanes, state director for New Mexico LULAC, has been an advocate for comprehensive immigration reform for as long as he can remember.

"We can no longer have municipalities and cities and counties and states have their own set of laws and regulations on this, the federal government has to step up to the plate and get this done once and for all," Arellanes said.

With that, comes hope of a path to citizenship that will not include sending people back across the border.

"Our economy loses when you start breaking up families," Arellanes said.  "It's just not a humane thing to do, I think it violates human rights when you start breaking families up."

Some told KOB Eyewitness News 4 it is a common sense move.

"Difficulty in having to travel back and forth doesn't serve any purpose other than adding extra red tape, so I think it's a great idea," one woman said.

Others disagree.

"I think that's ridiculous. They should have to go home and apply to be a citizen here and have the things that we have," another woman said.

Opinions aside, Arellanes said the discussion is long over-due.

"I think it's about time something is getting done here," he said.