Posted at: 03/12/2013 6:52 PM
By: Dan Conradt
Dream Kids Return From Washington
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a controversial issue facing our nation and many are split on how to deal with current laws facing illegal immigration.
As some of our national lawmakers debate the issue, they're considering some real-life stories that came from southeastern Minnesota.
"About what we want in immigration reform," trip participant Maria Medina told us. “We want family unity and a clear path to citizenship."
"You'll see people waiting 15 years to get their citizenship and sometimes it doesn't even show up," added Estrella Gutierrez, who was another of the 40 Latino youth leaders who went to Washington earlier this month.
“We want people to stop being deported if they're not criminals because there are so many families being torn apart unfairly," Maria Medina told us.
It was a message they shared with Minnesota's most influential policymakers.
“And the reason we're getting involved is we are the experts, we're the ones who have been affected by family separation," trip advisor Yesenia Mendoza said.
The group is also pushing for the Dream Act ... a proposal to provide a path to legal status for undocumented high school students.
"It's kind of a do you want a better future or not kind of scenario. with it you can go to school, you can go to college without no worries," trip participant Estrella Gutierrez said.
"I actually got the opportunity to meet with Tim Walz,” Maria Medina told us. “He was very nice about it. he was taking notes, like he really cared about our opinion."
"As young people it was really cool to see how we have an impact. we are the present and we are also the future," added advisor Yesenia Mendoza.
“We believe that every person deserves an equal opportunity to success," Maria Medina said.