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Florida politician calls for citizenship program for immigrants

As a new year begins, many immigrants are expressing hope that the president will initiate stronger reform for those who came here illegally so that they can remain in the country. Right now, millions of illegal immigrants still live in fear that they will be taken into custody by immigration and deported. Another concern for thousands of immigrant families regards the children who were brought to the U.S. and those who were born here. If current immigration law remains in place, these families could be torn apart as parents are deported.

One child of illegal immigrant parents in Florida joined U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor to call for a program that would help immigrants like her parents and herself attain citizenship. The 23-year-old spoke about the difficulties that she faces because she is not a U.S. citizen, although she has lived in the U.S. since the age of 6. One of those challenges is the amount of tuition that she would be forced to pay if she is accepted to the University of South Florida. She is also only able to drive and work under a temporary permit.

Rep. Castor pointed out that putting together a citizenship program for illegal immigrants who work and pay taxes would be a benefit to all Americans, not just to immigrants themselves. She said there needs to be a movement nationwide that protects families, assists honest immigrants and promotes industry through the many businesses that these individuals have created. She also revealed that other Florida politicians are in the process of putting together legislation to provide a way for illegal immigrants to attain citizenship. Immigrants may want to get the assistance of an immigration attorney to help them prepare for any potential legislation.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, "Kathy Castor calls for immigration 'path to citizenship'," William March, Jan. 11, 2013

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