Local UFW leaders head to Las Vegas to hear President's speech on immigration reform

To hear President's speech on immigration reform

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In October President Barack Obama came to Kern county to support the United Farm Workers.

Tuesday, local UFW leaders are returning the favor.

They will be in Las Vegas to hear president Obama's push for immigration reform, an issue he failed to press for during his first four years in office.

He has called it the top legislative priority of his second term -- something which delighted local supporters.

"We're extremely encouraged by the fact that he is moving this early on. The feeling is there's a lot of confidence we're going to get something done this year. After what happened with the elections, everyone saw the importance of dealing with issues having to do with the immigrant community," said UFW president Arturo Rodriguez.

The hispanic vote was key to president Obama's win the first time--with seventy-one percent of Latino voters backing Obama.

Rodriguez said they won't be underestimated again.

"They can't ignore us. They can't put us aside. They have to deal with our issues as much as anybody else's issues," said Rodriguez.

The president's proposal is expected to expand on Monday's bipartisan plan for immigration reform--which would create a separate guest worker program for jobs like farm working.

"They are being recognized for the value and contributions they make to our country, to our economy to ensuring people have food on their tables every day," said Rodriguez.

Also, illegal immigrants who came here as children will also have specialized provisions--similar to the Dream Act.

The president is expected to lay out more specifics of his immigration plan during his state of the union address on February 12.

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