Local Mother Fears For Future Of Family Under Proposed Raise Act

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) --  Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, alongside President Donald Trump and Senator David Perdue, announced a new immigration bill they said they believe will improve the current system.

But, for local mother of four Beatriz Salas, the Raise Act could tear her family apart for good.

"The family is going to be separated," Salas said. "My family is going to be separated..my kids."

The proposed bill reclassifies immediate family as a spouse or underage child. This makes it impossible for her to gain citizenship under her son, who recently turned 21.

"They are closing all the doors for the families, even if it's a good family," Salas said. She said what she fears most is having to explain this reality to her 7-year-old daughter.

"How can you explain to a little girl, that she isn't going to have her mother anymore or she has to be moved from another state to a country she's never known," Salas said.

Local immigration organizations said they believe the bill is a huge setback in fixing the current system.

"We don't have enough legal pathways to be able to work and live in this country and unfortunately Senator Cotton thinks the solution when you don't have enough is to cut back even further," said Mireya Writhe, director of Arkansas United Community Coalition.

Canopy of NWA resettlement director Emily Crane said she feels the proposed legislation isn't reflective of the values of Arkansans.

"We have over 500 Northwest Arkansans who've signed up to volunteer with our organization, we have 15 churches who have formed co-sponsor teams to mentor newly arrived refugee families," Crane said.

With the support of the President, Senator Cotton said he believes this new immigration reform is a step in the right direction. Cotton released the following statement:

"For decades our immigration system has been completely divorced from the needs of our economy, and working Americans' wages have suffered as a result. Our legislation will set things right."

To read the bill, click here.