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El Mundo, El Salvador

Time for Immigration Reform

By Editorial

Translated By Alan Bailey

14 January 2013

Edited by Daye Lee

El Salvador - El Mundo - Original Article (Spanish)

Immigration reform in the U.S. will benefit hundreds of thousands of Salvadoreans in America, as well as their families residing in El Salvador.

This weekend, the New York Times revealed that President Barack Obama intends, in the next few months, to present a new law that will reform immigration policies and ultimately open a path to citizenship for the majority of illegal immigrants.

The news is still astonishing to us — in a good way. After years of speculation about the long-promised reforms, the prospect of real reform seemed, at times, more and more distant. In the U.S., there are approximately 11 million undocumented individuals; hundreds of thousands of those individuals are Salvadoreans, which means that legislation on the matter will impact our fellow citizens and possibly our country as a whole.

According to the U.S. newspaper, Obama and senate Democrats are looking to implement policies that not only normalize the undocumented immigrant problem, but will also eventually allow immigrants to apply for citizenship.

Obama will argue that his immigration reform plan is not amnesty; it would include fines, the payment of outstanding taxes and other such obstacles for illegal immigrants to hurdle before they can obtain legal status.

If the reform plan takes into account our fellow citizens who are covered under the Temporary Protected Status granted since the 2001 earthquakes, around 200,000 Salvadoreans, who to a large degree have been providing economic support to their families, will be granted legal status.

Comprehensive immigration reform would encourage family reunification and could gradually reduce the number of victims produced by human trafficking. Without a doubt, Obama's proposal for immigration reform is good news. We hope that these reforms are finalized and not left to sit on the political back burner of Washington.



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