Sen. Patty Murray Stops in Wapato To Push Immigration Reform - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sen. Patty Murray Stops in Wapato To Push Immigration Reform

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Senator Patty Murray stopped in Wapato Tuesday and explained why immigration is so critical to the Yakima Valley. Senator Patty Murray stopped in Wapato Tuesday and explained why immigration is so critical to the Yakima Valley.
WAPATO, WA - Senator Patty Murray stopped in Wapato Tuesday and explained why immigration is so critical to the Yakima Valley. 

Many of these apples are picked by immigrants and while these immigrants have been here for years, sometimes decades, they still live in the shadows. Senator Patty Murray wants to change that. 

With the beautiful backdrop of Mt. Adams, Senator Murray spoke about the horrible things that immigrants face, right here in our backyard. 

"Tens of thousands of people, many of them women and children, have been senselessly deported from this country," Sen. Patty Murray said. "Separated from their families, for no reason other than their undocumented status."

The senator was taken on a tour of the orchard where apples hang by the dozens. While there are thousands of immigrants here, orchard managers are finding it hard to get enough workers to pull down the record size crop..

"They're afraid to be on the roads looking for jobs because they're afraid to be reported," Feliciano Benitez said. "To be separated from their families."

"I'm standing here in an agricultural valley that relies on workers to come in and pick the crop, maintain them in the winter," Sen. Murray said. "It needs a legal workforce that it can count on."

Senator Murray laid out a few things she wants to see in reform. 

"Absolutely no one should be deported or turned away from the United States without a hearing before an immigration judge," Sen. Murray said.

Unfortunately, for decades it's been the same old song and dance. Both parties blaming each other for not solving a problem that everyone admits is there. Right now, an immigration bill sits in the House of Representatives with little hope of passing a Republican majority. Senator Murray says, with a little help, this time could be different.

"If you're sitting across the table from somebody who is willing to work with you, there is always a path to success when it comes to legislation," Sen. Murray said.

Whether changes happen through President Obama or Congress it seems that  long awaited immigration reform may finally be on its way. 

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