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Bipartisan immigration-reform plan seen as ‘amazing’ by advocates and immigrants alike

Posted: 9:08 PM, Jan 28, 2013
Updated: 2013-01-28 21:08:00-05

Senator Charles Schumer along with Florida Senator Marco Rubio began the process of making the American Dream a reality for millions Monday.

In various neighborhoods around the city Monday, news of eight bipartisan Senators coming together to reform immigration and provide hope isn’t just big.  It’s much more.

“This is amazing. This is going to give people an opportunity to truly integrate into society,” said Kerry Bretz, an immigration attorney who has been practicing since the aftermath of amnesty that President Ronald Reagan provided to undocumented immigrants in 1986. It’s ironic now to see that the Gipper championed amnesty, since Republicans have become notorious in recent years for not properly addressing immigration reform

“I think Republicans have woken up. They saw the shellacking in the words of President Obama that they got at the last election and I think they are realizing the importance of the contribution that immigrants make,” Bretz said.

The reforms would create a path to citizenship for almost 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Joaquin Fernandez has been a barber in East Harlem for the past five years.

“Muy buena idea,” or “very good idea,” he says.

The 34-year-old Dominican said that five years ago, he saved up  $12,00 dollars to get to Mexico and then crossed over the Texas border in a van tightly packed with other undocumented citizens.  With little money in hand, Joaquin was fueled by a rich dream.

“I feel good because it’s an opportunity …  for the senators, let them move forward with this,” he said.