Utah activists rally for immigration reform

SALT LAKE CITY — While Washington remains silent on a decision, the call for immigration reform is getting louder in Utah.

Shouts of, “yes we can” came from the Latino community of Salt Lake City, who were rallying for change Friday night.

“There’s a lot of people who really deserve the chance to become a part of this country,” said Edith Fernandez, one of dozens who attended.

Fernandez moved to the United State from Mexico City with her husband in 1997. She now has two children, who were both born in Salt Lake, but she still lives here on work permits.

“I have to go reapply, and I don’t know:  I just play it by ear, you know, by ear,” Fernandez said.

The path to citizenship continues to remain unclear for people, like Fernandez, as lawmakers continue to disagree on immigration legislation.

“We’ve lived the worst of it in terms of a lot of the rhetoric that has happened over the last four of five years,” said Tony Yapias of Proyecto Latino de Utah.

On Wednesday, House democrats put pressure on republicans and unveiled their own bill for reform, which is nearly identical to the one the Senate passed in June. It includes a pathway to citizenship plan for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally, language that has not seen support from lawmakers in the past.

“Our immigration system is broken. It needs to be fixed,” Yapias said.

But even if the proposal goes nowhere, those rallying Friday remained optimistic about their future in the U.S.

“It`s time for a change, and it’s time to give a lot of people a chance,” Fernandez said.