Keizer women seek immigration change

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Vicky Falcon-Vazquez and Maria Jarmillo with Sen. Jeff Merkley. The two Keizer women met with Oregon congressmen to advocate for immigration reform as part of a recent conference. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Vicky Falcon-Vazquez and Maria Jarmillo with Sen. Jeff Merkley. The two Keizer women met with Oregon congressmen to advocate for immigration reform as part of a recent conference. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

When Vicky Falcon-Vazquez and Maria Jaramillo first visited Rep. Kurt Schrader three years ago in the nation’s capitol, they were somewhat taken aback by the encounter.

“At that time, he didn’t support Dream Act, but he did support comprehensive immigration reform. He didn’t want to go after what he called ‘smaller things,’” said Falcon-Vazquez. “I left that first meeting disappointed because we are fighting for people that we work with–this is family.”

The pair of Keizer residents work on the local issues facing the Latino community as part of Mano a Mano Family Center, which provides family services such as crisis assistance and education services.

They went back a year later and Schrader’s position on the Dream Act,  which would provide conditional permanent resident status to undocumented students who graduate high school and lived continuously in the U.S. for at least five years, had softened.

Earlier this month, when they went back for another visit with Oregon congressmen to push for comprehensive immigration reform and Schrader welcomed them with open arms.

“Now he supports the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration,” Falcon-Vazquez said.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the March 22 issue of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

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