Photo: 25th Anniversary of Reagan Signing Immigration Reform Act
This week marks the 25th anniversary of President Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act, which allowed almost 2.7 million undocumented immigrants to legalize their status.
According to the SEIU union: Reagan’s policy was based on his appreciation that ours is a land of immigrants; that immigrants should not be exploited; that if legalized, they would contribute even more to the economy. Cited as examples of the great contributions immigrants have made to the U.S. is NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez and Grammy winner Luis Enrique.
Grammy Award winner Luis Enrique specifically cites the Reagan law for permitting him and his family to end their undocumented status that began in 1978 when they fled the political upheaval in their native Nicaragua.
Another naturalized citizen who gained legal status as a result of the Reagan immigration bill is Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota, an initiative which works to turn legal immigrants into citizens and voters. Ben, a native of Guatemala, also works tirelessly on behalf of immigrant rights.
Next week, the government of Guatemala will present Ben the medal of the Order Quetzal, the highest award granted to Guatemalans, for his continuing work to ensure labor rights and fair treatment of Guatemalans in the U.S.