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Texas Democrats work toward bipartisan immigration solution

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TWC News: Texas Democrats work toward bipartisan immigration solution
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On the heels of President Obama's remarks about immigration reform, two Texas Democrat lawmakers are urging the U.S. Congress to pass legislation.

In hope for bipartisan support, the Democrats have included several Republican proposals in their plan.

As someone born in Mexico and brought the United States as a baby, Democratic Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna said this is a personal issue.

"We were undocumented for about seven, eight years until the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 passed under Republican Administration,” she said. “That was the way we were able to become permanent residents and, at age 18, I became a naturalized citizen."

Rep. Hernandez Luna hopes her story can be echoed for those 11,000,000 undocumented immigrants trying to legally stay in the country and eventually become citizens.

"That immigration reform of 1986 changed the path of my life and I wouldn't be here without that,” she said. “I know there are millions of families out there in similar situations as my family once was."

Hernandez Luna and Democratic Rep. Rafael Anchia filed their resolution Wednesday. They say it takes language from such GOP groups as the Texas Federation of Republican Women among others—Republican proposals they hope are a selling point for their colleagues across the aisle.

[[sot--Hernandez Luna]]
"It is not amnesty. They are not just being forgiven and given a permanent residency. They'll be paying fines and fees and be required to learn English, American civics, have a clean criminal history," Rep. Hernandez Luna said.

They're hoping a message with bipartisan support from a conservative state will urge Congress to act, but not all Republicans are on board—at least yet.

"I'm grateful they have a resolution and that the conversation is getting started, but we have a long way to go with this dialogue," Rep. Larry Gonzales said.

It’s a dialogue Republican Rep. Larry Gonzales admits has come a long way since last session, but says it is too early to know if a solution can be reached in this one.

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