New Yorkers React to Details of US Senate's Immigration Bill

Immigrants in New York are digesting the details that are emerging  about the Senate's immigration reform bill.


One provision: it will likely take 10 years for people in the United States illegally to get their green cards.

Some who would benefit from immigration reform, like 22-year-old Alondra, an architecture student at City Tech, says that’s too long.

“It seems very impractical,” Alondra, who requested we don’t use her last name, said.  “Besides impractical, very inhumane. We’ve been waiting for so long for this.”

But others, like 33-year-old Antonio, who came from Trinidad five years ago and overstayed his visa, see things differently. He says there are certain things immigrants who don’t have legal status want, and a green card isn’t necessarily one of them.

“I think they don’t care how long it takes to get a green card or to get citizenship,” he said. “Basically all they want is just to be able to drive, and work, and travel out of the country.”

Another important part of the bill, which Republicans are pushing, is improving border security. 24-year-old Max Ahmed is a native of Pakistan, who came to the U-S when he was 11, and has gotten a temporary work permit under the deferred action program. He sees tightening the border as a waste of resources.

“If we focus on a border that’s already secured,” he said, “we take away from the real issues, which is how to get immigrants naturalized and integrated into society so that they can become productive members of the current society, especially in the light of the economy that we live in.”

It’s expected the immigration bill proposal from the Senate will be unveiled early next week.

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