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September 23, 2015

Aguilar Sits Down with Inland Empire Families Caught up in Immigration Crisis

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, Rep. Pete Aguilar is speaking with Inland Empire families to hear their personal stories of coming to the United States and their journey toward citizenship. Aguilar—an ardent supporter of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship—spoke earlier this week with Josefina Laguna, a Redlands resident. Ms. Laguna would be eligible for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) under President Obama’s executive orders.

“I want to have the opportunity to hear directly from families about what they’re going through, from the process itself to what they’re seeing and feeling in the community,” said Aguilar. He continued, “I’m so grateful that Josefina shared her story with me, a tale we’ve heard so many times throughout our district. Stories and families like hers are what make us see how personal and critical immigration reform is for our community because at the root of it all, this is about keeping families together and bringing them into our community.”

Ms. Laguna lives in Redlands and has four children, all of whom are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Her youngest daughter is 19 years old and is currently a student at the University of Redlands.

Ms. Laguna said, “We came here because my husband, he was a bookkeeper from Mexico, and the company he worked for closed. So that’s why he tried to come here. And then after that I came here. Our family came here. I’m so happy with the opportunities we’ve been given since coming here. It’s hard with the papers. We are waiting, but I believe—I hope— it will be better for the next generation.”

Rep. Aguilar’s conversation with Ms. Laguna was facilitated by the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). Rep. Aguilar is a firm supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. He took a lead role earlier this year during the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showdown when House Republicans nearly forced a shutdown of the agency in an attempt to roll back the President’s executive orders on immigration.