Immigrant and immigrant rights group react to bipartisan plan

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by Laura Rodriguez

MILWAUKEE-- According to immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera, Wisconsin is home to approximately 150,000 undocumented immigrants.

One of those people is Denis Montero who says he does not live in fear.

"If we live in fear we will never be able to march or tell our stories. Fear would be such an impediment to progress," said Montero.

Montero says the bipartisan plan is progress, however, he knows there is still a lot of work to be done. 

"Now is the time. I have no doubts that immigration reform will be passed this year," said Montero.

Voces de la Frontera has been at the forefront of asking for immigration reform. The Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz seemed optimistic about the bipartisan plan, but says she is concerned about specifics such as how financially accessible a pathway to citizenship would be to some of these low-income families.

"Access is important, that it be broad, especially if you are a big family, you know it becomes inachievable," said Neumann-Ortiz.

Montero hopes to become a citizen of the United States one day and feels a change in his legal status would change his life for the better.

"Wow. It would just open up so many opportunities," said Montero.

Opportunities like working at a local library because of his love for books and reading, or receiving federal aid to finish college.

"Everyone's energized, but at the same time so aware that there are no guarantees that this is going to come to fruition if we don't contribute," said Neumann-Ortiz.

Montero plans to continue doing his part by speaking out instead of hiding in fear. He says althought it's been difficult, there is one thing that has carried him through it all.

"It's hope you know, and that's what brought us here and that's why even living with those limited choices, it's still better than having no dreams at all."
 

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