Dalton Watches Senate's Immigration Reform Bill

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Harrison Pirtle
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Updated: 5/29/2013 6:56 pm
DALTON, GA (WDEF) -- The Senate turns its attention to a national immigration reform law.
It's raised hopes among immigrants like those that make up 40% of the population in Dalton.
But legislators like Georgia congressman Tom Graves say there will not be a general amnesty.

The so-called "gang of eight" has produced the first draft of an immigration bill in the U.S. Senate.
But the 4 democrats and 4 republicans did not propose strengthening border security, which brought immediate criticism from house leaders.
Congressman Tom Graves of Georgia spoke to the Dalton Chamber of Commerce group.

REP. TOM GRAVES, (R) GA. "My observation in congress is..its an effort to try to resolve a very difficult very complex problem..but it has to begin with border security and it cannot include amnesty."

Graves says the House will draft its own legislation, rather than take up and accept the Senate bill if it passes.
Dalton's heavily Hispanic work-force is watching to see what comes out of this congress.
What would they like to see happen?

PASTOR GILBARDO GUERRERO, WORLD FRIENDSHIP CHURCH "Not citizenship..just to have some kind of legal papers to be here...legally and try to drive..and get a license. I think this is more important than to get citizenship."

But, the mayor of Dalton says its imperative that the congress listen to local leaders who will have to deal with the repercussions of any new legislation.

MAYOR DAVID PENNINGTON, DALTON "I would like to think and congress and our state legislature for that matter ...would contemplate what it means to local communities if they pass some of these bills...and right now obviously we've got a difficult time funding all the social service needs of this country."

REP. TOM GRAVES "Dalton, this region , but really the United States as a whole..is grappling with this issue because it's a moral issue, and its a law insure ..and there are families involved ...real lives are involved."

The "Gang of Eight's" bill was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will likely be taken up by the full body next week.



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