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Local reaction to immigration reform debate

Local leaders weigh-in as Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims sounds off in Washington, D.C.
Standing behind President Obama's right shoulder, Sheriff Margaret Mims takes a position on immigration reform and has the opportunity to share it with the masses.  She addresses media outside the White House on Tuesday morning.

“What I hear from our farmers is they have employees that are assaulted, robbed in the fields while they're working, their cars are stolen but they're afraid to report crimes because of their immigration status,” said Mims.

As an invited guest, she addresses needs specific to the valley, where the agricultural industry relies on immigrant workers.  A UFW Outreach Coordinator says spirits are high knowing reform could be close.

“The response of the community is very, very positive.  They're very excited.  Yesterday I went to the Mexican Consolate and they were so happy,” said Clarita Cortes with UFW.

The proposed pathway to citizenship for farmworkers is eight years.  Business owner and Lincoln Club leader Mike Der Manouel is against the bill because he doubts government can handle overseeing and implementing the proposed program, which would impact 11 million people in the U.S.

“If we could fix the infrastructure, I'd be all for a bill that would have people come and go.  No problem with it, as long as we know who they are,” said Der Manouel.

Senators hope to be through amending the bill by July 4th, then it heads to the republican-led House.

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