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Local leaders support immigration reform

The "gang of eight" bi-partisan group of senators have come to an agreement on a bill. Local leaders announce what it could mean for local undocumented farm workers.
Jose Chavez protested in a recent immigration reform rally.  He's now a local college student.  It's a big step up. Chavez said he's worked in the fields since he was 9-years-old.

"The first job that I did when I came to the United State was picking table grapes," said Jose Chavez.

Supporters say the bill offers hope and the chance at permanent residency.

"We want to all join together to make sure that we do for America what is important and necessary and that we treat our immigrants with the dignity and respect," said Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers.

The measure would grant undocumented immigrants legal status if they pass a background check. Thirteen years later, they'll be able to seek citizenship after paying a series of fines.

"Si si si, estoy muy contenta," said Chavez's mother in Spanish.  She's an undocumented farm worker and adds that when the bill passes, the first thing she wants to do is go to the DMV to get her license.

UFW estimates there are hundreds of thousands of undocumented farm workers in the Central Valley.

"Wake up at 4 in the morning, sometimes earlier.  They stand outside of their houses waiting for their rides," said Chavez.

Chavez believes he's earned citizenship due to long hours of back breaking work.
A fresh Visa program will be also be introduced.  Chavez said it's about time.

"Work from sun up to sun down. They deserve it, they deserve it," said Chavez.
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