Reports of a leaked draft on immigration reform has many people wondering what will happen with immigration in the near future. Local leaders are wondering how this possible reform will affect those living in the Rio Grande Valley. If the draft is true it does touch on border security. In fiscal year 2012 -- the Rio Grande Valley sector has had 140 reported deaths, more than a 100 percent increase from 2011. The majority of those people are found near the checkpoints. Ramona Casas, a Community Activist with ARISE said she doesn TMt want to see any more deaths in our area and is very happy that bipartisan senators are finally working together. Most of the community leaders that I've spoken to are against more border security. According to USA Today, the draft sets an 8-year path to residency.
The time is a lot shorter than what most expected.
The draft also mentions some of the prerequisites needed. Many are keeping their fingers crossed that this dream will soon become reality and with the possibility lingering...many are getting ready for what could come. "ARISE has helped me to develop on my English and school too and since I was small and now I am a volunteer," said Andrea Guzman. According to USA Today one prerequisite is to learn English in order to apply for a green card within 8 years; after that comes citizenship. Activists with ARISE have been working with people in colonias for years, educating them on immigration laws and future changes. "The main purpose of ARISE is to develop skills in the community to be leader to be working for their own needs and the better future they want for themselves," Casas said. On Friday, ARISE leaders will pack up and head to Austin. Casas, said they will be interviewing with legislators about the new immigration reform. They expect 5,000 people to march and rally for the cause. According to USA Today, immigrants facing deportation would also be able to apply for the visa. Activists believe it TMs a good idea and are happy the bipartisan group of senators are actively working on making this happen for millions. "We are asking them to consider citizenship and also we are not happy to have more "militarization" in the border we don TMt need more of that we need to be safe in our communities we want to have local police be local and border patrol be Border Patrol," Casas said. ARISE activists also plan to go to Washington on the 27th with petitions for a fair immigration reform. Casas said they expect about 15,000 people from different states to join. Click here to follow Veronica on Facebook Click here to follow Veronica on Twitter