Immigration advocates focus on keeping families together

Posted at: 05/01/2013 4:36 PM
Updated at: 05/01/2013 5:54 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Norma Dorado is just one of thousands of undocumented immigrants struggling with the effects of a broken family. Nearly three years ago, her son was stopped for speeding – and soon after that, he was deported.

“My life completely changed,” Dorado said. “When my son got deported, it didn’t only destroy his dreams, but mine as a mother as well – not to be able to have him by my side.”

Norma’s struggle is the kind walkers from El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos and other groups at Wednesday’s walks are trying to beat, for the 85,000 undocumented immigrants the Pew Center says live in our state.

“Here is a political, economic and moral imperative to pass immigration reform that keeps our families together, keeps our families united,” organizer Rachel LaZar said

They believe the U.S. Senate’s reform bill, which includes a path to citizenship, could solve that problem. But others take issue.

“I've been here an awful long time,” Albuquerque resident Barry Warren said. “I have seen every variation you can come up with about immigration reform and none of them work.”

Families like Dorado’s, though, believe the proposed bill could mean a different future – one where their homes feel whole again.

“My dream for my family is that my son can be reunified with my family,” Dorado said. “My dream is also that thousands of families can reunify and be back together."

Speakers at the event included House Majority Whip Antonio Maestas, several families impacted by immigration issues, Joel Villareal from the NM Federation of Labor, and Deacon Juan Barajas from St. Anne’s Parish.