By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Mar 22, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – A recent Public Religion Institute poll shows that majority of Americans, 63% favor giving millions of undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship.

As public support continues to grow for undocumented immigrants, a comprehensive immigration reform bill is now making headway in Congress. A bipartisan group of senators is about to agree on a plan that could give 11 million undocumented immigrants a chance to realize their American dream.

Non-immigrants like Ashley Moilanen disagrees with giving amnesty to undocumented immigrants. She said, “If immigrants want to come over here, it’s fine. But they should go through the correct steps and procedures of becoming citizens.”

Hundreds came to the St. John the Evangelist Church on Thursday night, to attend a town hall meeting on immigration reform. Harold Butanas, a Filipino caregiver, spoke before the crowd, on the dire situation of undocumented immigrants. Butanas shared that because of his immigration situation, his employer does not give him proper wages and benefits.

Butanas is happy that more and more non-immigrants empathize with them in their plight. He said, “People are more encouraged to fight for equal rights now.”

Immigrant rights advocates said the more people talk about the situation of undocumented immigrants, the more people will support giving them a path to citizenship.

AV David, a coordinator for the Filipino Community Center said, “There’s been a lot more conversation now about immigration reform. A lot more undocumented immigrants are speaking up, fighting for their rights in this country.”

Peter Mancina and his family were among those who felt more encouraged to support immigration reform following the town hall meeting. He said, “The deportations have to stop. Families are getting ripped apart.”

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