Reaction to immigration reform deal: Not everyone agrees with path to citizenship

January 28, 2013 3:17:50 PM PST
For many, immigration reform is welcome news, but not everyone agrees with creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.

Immigration reform is definitely a hot-button issue that's important in Chicago and many of its Latino communities. While some welcome what they call a long overdue overhaul of the system, others simply aren't so sure.

It's what some in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, like Mary Martinez, have been waiting for: a push for immigration reform which provides a path to citizenship for the undocumented.

"I'm glad Obama is doing something for the Mexican people," said Martinez. "I'm so glad that he's going to Vegas and he kept his promise that he's going to help us."

The plan, brokered by a bipartisan group of four Democratic and four Republican senators, looks to draft legislation rewriting the nation's immigration laws while including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

"This is a great country of many opportunities, and we're just giving them more opportunities with letting them be legal here," said Marisa Baker.

Despite the bipartisan effort, there is still opposition.

"There already is a path to citizenship," said Carl Segvich of the Illinois Minuteman Project. "Immigrating to America legally, filling out all your paperwork accordingly and assimilating into our country."

The president is making good on his promise after the election demonstrated the importance of the Latino vote.

"We saw in the elections, over 70 percent of Latinos and immigrant voters voted with the president," said Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights' Lawrence Benito. "If Republicans want to be competitive in the next elections, this issue needs to be taken off the table."

Over the weekend, Illinois became the fourth state to allow undocumented immigrants to have driver's licenses.