PLAN Starts "Keeping Families Together" Campaign - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

PLAN Starts "Keeping Families Together" Campaign

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About 90,000 Hispanics live in the Reno-Sparks area and about 20% of those are undocumented.

We talked to a number of immigrants who came both legally and illegally.

They say immigration reform won't solve all of the problems, but it is a great first step.

"Every single day, 1,100 immigrants are being deported from this country," PLAN member Mario dela Rosa said. PLAN stands for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Carla Castedo was born in Bolivia and is a legal resident of the United States.

She knows very well the troubles of immigrating to this country.

"It's very difficult and hard," Castedo said. "When people say get in the back of the line, that means 10 years, sometimes 20 years, depending on where that line is."

Gustavo Velasco came to the U.S. from Mexico, back in 1999.

He says he loves living here, but it's not always easy.

"I think we all adapt to a certain point, but there's always a limitation with what we can and we cannot do," Velasco said.

Velasco is benefiting from an executive order handed down last summer that prevents some people from being deported if they were brought here as a child.

"We want to have more of a clear mind," Velasco said. "The psychology of it does help. By me having my papers now, it totally takes a lot of weight off my shoulders."

Most people, at the PLAN press conference, say the most important thing that immigration reform does is keep families together.

Often times, younger family members are U.S. citizens, while the older ones are undocumented.

"You might get deported," Velasco said. "Now, that family that was expecting you is not going to see you again and who knows what is going to happen?"

If reform does happen, this group says it will allow undocumented immigrants to work, pay taxes, and help the economy without the fear of deportation.

"Everyone just wants a fair system and it's exciting to know that people could have that fixed, so that they can improve their lives, have their futures and really have the American dream," Castedo said.

Velasco says he hopes immigration reform will separate the good people from the bad, and give them opportunities that they don't have right now.

Written by Paul Nelson
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