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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Emotions run high amidst immigration reform

Congress is currently considering bills that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and construct fences along the U. S. ? Mexican border. The proposals have angered many Hispanics across the nation as well as many students in the San Joaquin Valley.

Nearly 1,000 Valley high school students congregated on the steps of Fresno?s City Hall on March 28-29 in protest of these changes. Many were boldly waving Mexican flags in the air or carrying signs that read: ?Don?t Panic, we?re Hispanic? and ?We have a dream, too.?

Republican Senator Jon Kyl, co-sponsor of a bill that would give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country pointed out that, ?Protesters should be pleased that the Senate is addressing this issue in such a comprehensive way.?

What most students do not realize is that their country is home to an estimated 10 million undocumented workers and their families. Nearly 75% of those workers come from Mexico. Their presence is costing the American government millions in tax dollars and prison expenses every year.

However, a recent poll taken at shows that nearly 50% of campus students believe that the students involved in these walkouts are only jumping on a bandwagon.

?Clearly these kids are tied emotionally to the possibility of people they may know being deported,? James Brown, ?06, said. ?But it?s important to get all the facts.?

These bills will also provide illegal immigrants with the opportunity to gain citizenship without having to return to Mexico. They would have to pay taxes, undergo intensive background checks, work for six years and learn the English language.

Each of these steps is mandatory for anyone seeking to immigrate to the United States. It can only be expected that Mexican immigrants must abide by these rules as well. Though amnesty cannot be given freely, Congress is attempting to make it a possibility for all who seek it.

Citizenship will grant migrants the many benefits that the American public depends upon: use of the public school system, fair job opportunities, and most importantly health insurance. These bills do not guarantee to rid the U.S. of those seeking freedom, they appear to be written to raise the quality of life of those living below the American standard.

Congress will begin voting on April 7. Agreements are yet to be made on any sort of package but in the words of George Radanovich, ?So far from what we?ve heard, it sure works for us.?

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