Local immigration reform impact - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local immigration reform impact

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A new push President Obama for immigration reform could soon be felt in the panhandle.

Basically the plan is to filter out immigrants who came here illegally by keeping people who are contributing to society like those with jobs and college graduates, and deporting the ones with criminal records.

More than 11 million are in the country, including thousands in the panhandle. The president announced his ideas for immigration reform Tuesday in Las Vegas to push for a solution.

Congressman Mac Thornberry says with better enforcement at the border, we can see a reduction in drugs and crime in the panhandle. And businesses can hire immigrants legally when they can not find enough Americans to employ.

Thornberry says part of the reason why he thinks so many people come illegally is because our legal system is so messed up. He says, "It takes so long. It is so difficult to use. A lot of legal immigration is based on a lottery system, which is just silly... What we want to do is have people come here who want to contribute to our society, who want to work, who want to add benefit to our society."

A local immigration counselor says reuniting families separated because of legal status can reduce the number of dysfunctional families. That way kids can grow up to be productive members of society.

The president says if Congress does not come up with a bill in a timely manner, he's going to propose one and insist on a vote immediately.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.