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Jun 22, 2013 11:07 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Immigration advocates criticize reform

SOUTH TUCSON - Immigration advocates gathered at the John Valenzuela Youth Center to talk about the proposed immigration reform in the United States Senate.

Most speakers were critical of the bill. Murphy Woodhouse is a University of Arizona graduate student and part of the End Streamline Coalition. He said the proposed increase in border security is militarization.

"This is really going to change life along the US-Mexico border," Woodhouse said, "in a lot of ways that people probably won't be comfortable with."

Josue Saldivar is in the US on an expired visa. He does not have to worry about being deported because he has applied for Deferred Action status. Saldivar is hopeful that will help him become a citizen, but he does not think the Senate's plan is perfect.

"There is a special treatment for certain individuals, myself included," he said. "Dreamers will have an expedited road to citizenship."

Claudia Arevalo is an immigration attorney. She does not think the bill will successfully track and document an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

"There's not going to be everyone." She said. "Because the ones that are in the shadows, they're going to have to go through a very difficult and long process. And then we will have to determine if they're going to qualify."

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake has been taking his case to his Facebook page, where even his own supporters criticize the plan. Many called it amnesty and asked for enforcing current laws and finishing the border fence.

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