Immigration overhaul brings hope to Minnesota family - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Immigration overhaul brings hope to Minnesota family

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The discussion over immigration is beginning anew now that President Barack Obama and a bi-partisan group of Senators have put forth similar plans to overhaul the current system, and that's bringing hope to one Minnesota family.

"I'm here today because the time has come for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform, the time is now," Obama said while announcing his plan to get millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship."

Those are words one Minnesota family has been waiting to hear for a long time.

"It's happiness for us because something big is going to happen," said Yubicela Toledo-Solano.

Although she's been in the United States for half of her life, Toledo-Solano is not a U.S. citizen. Now, she hopes this push toward reform will finally allow her to call this country her own.

"I feel happy, not only for me. All the people like my Dad -- he wants to go to Mexico, but he can't," she said.

Toledo-Solano and her family are among the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country illegally. Even though Obama loosened restrictions to allow young immigrants like her to stay without fear of deportation, there's still no official way for Toledo-Solano to become a citizen.

"It gives them hope -- the opportunity to be able to be legalized in the fabric of American society," said immigration attorney Steven Thal.

Yet, even those who support immigration reform say the devil will be in the details.

"I think it's fantastic we are having the conversation, and that it is a bipartisan conversation," said Javier Morillo, president of the SEIU Local 26.

Morillo told FOX 9 News he doesn't like that the current plan proposed by the senators calls for securing the border before creating a path to legal citizenship -- or that they would have to get in line behind those already waiting for green cards because of lengthy delays.

"That road has a lot of landmines that need to be fixed before we can call it a pathway to citizenship," he said."

Still, Toledo-Solano believes any path toward citizenship is better than none at all.

"Sometimes when you don't have papers, you feel uncomfortable," she explained. "I think it's better."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced his support of Obama's proposal for comprehensive reform on Tuesday, describing it as "based in Minneapolis values" and saying it will strengthen the city's neighborhoods and economy.

"We know in Minneapolis that in order to for our neighborhoods to prosper and our city to succeed on the global stage, we need everyone," Rybak said. "Luckily for us, people have come to our city from around the world to help us do just that."

The city's Intergovernmental Relations Commitee, which is comprised of all 13 City Council, voted unanimously to add a set of principles for immigration reform just last week, and many of those are directly reflected in the plan Obama unveiled in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

"President Obama's immigration-reform proposal today pulls everyone who can contribute to our success out the shadows and gives them a chance to work and to play by the same rules as everybody else," Rybak said. "His plan lays the essential groundwork for our economic success and the future of the American Dream, not only in Minneapolis but in every corner of our country."

The full city count will formally vote on Friday to include those principles in the city's federal legislative agenda.

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