Congressman Luis Gutierrez Addresses Yakima on Immigration Refor - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Congressman Luis Gutierrez Addresses Yakima on Immigration Reform

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YAKIMA- A shocking 11 million people are being affected by up and coming immigration reform. 

President Obama's relief program has been on hold since last year, but the hope is still alive for many.  

Representative Luis Gutierrez is building up the movement locally right in our backyard.

He's been referred to as the national leader on comprehensive immigration reform. 

Community members and state leaders are showing their support, as part of an effort to build a movement for immigrant and refugee rights in Yakima.

We are honored to have a leader with us that is making it happen. That's making it happen in this nation," said Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, former representative in Washington. 

Drawing from personal experience, as the son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Congressman Gutierrez is passionate about sharing his message. 

"And when they arrived in the city of New York, without a coat, without understanding the language. My mom had a 6th grade education, my dad a 9th grade education. They arrived in that city of New York and do not think there was a welcome mat with a big 

He tell us our own town of Yakima is playing a big role in this nation's economy.

"And I'm here in Yakima because it there's any place in the United States that depends on foreign hands, making sure that the work gets done, it's obviously in the fields of Yakima."

In the meantime, Arely Perez is hoping that leaders like Rep. Gutierrez can give her a voice and a path to citizenship so that she can continue to pursue her education. 

"I couldn't accomplish anything with what happened, DAPA or DACA. I'm actually still in process, but I'm still here, fighting for what I want. Right now, well it's not what I wanted, to work at a warehouse but I hope it doesn't last forever," said Perez. 

Congressman Gutierrez says he plans to return to Yakima to continue rallying support for immigrant rights.