Local News


Local families make plea for immigration reform

Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 21:54:41-04

A struggle in the Supreme Court could affect hundreds of thousands of people across the state of Nevada.

Lawmakers are hearing a case on immigration reform, that could postpone the deportation of illegal immigrants.  

Aida Lopez is just one of thousands across the valley facing deportation.  

"We left Mexico because of the very limited opportunities," says Lopez, in Spanish.  

Four of her five children are now U.S. citizens, but she's worried every day she could be forced to leave her kids.

Deportation for the Lopez family would mean even more heartache than what they've already been through.  

"It's been a very difficult journey," says Lopez.  

Lopez's husband was deported two years ago, then almost immediately kidnapped, and held for ransom. Lopez wasn't able to pay, and hasn't seen her husband since.  

Today, Lopez met with Congresswoman Titus to share her story, desperately hoping the Supreme Court will rule to protect families like hers.  

"Strong families build strong communities, and when we threaten those families or divide those families, or keep them from reaching their potential, we are only hurting ourselves," says Congresswoman Titus.  

The Supreme Court has taken up a case that could essentially protect parents of legal citizens, by creating the DAPA program, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.  

Those who oppose the executive action say it would financially burden states.  

Titus disagrees, saying the program would actually mean more money for the state.  

Nevada has some of the highest percentages in the country when it comes to undocumented immigrants. Titus says if the hundreds of thousands of immigrants in Nevada were allowed to work, that could generate $3 billion in tax revenue over the next 10 years

Titus also says it's about keeping families, like the Lopez family, together.  

"Republicans too often speak about immigration in terms of walls and borders," says Congresswoman Titus.  "We need to start thinking about it in terms of families and opportunities."

The Supreme Court is expected to vote on the action in June.