Salt Lake Dream Team talks immigration with Sen. Lee’s staff

Posted at 9:49 PM, Mar 15, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - Members of Utah's Latino community met with U.S. Senator Mike Lee's staff on Friday to talk about immigration reform.

Sen. Lee has been open about his views on immigration. Earlier this year, he left the so-called "Gang of Eight," a bipartisan group of U.S. senators working on immigration reform policy, because Lee said he couldn't support all the proposed comprehensive immigration reform.

"There isn't just one immigration challenge, there are dozens. They are all complex and we should have robust and open debate over the right way to handle each one," Lee said.

The Salt Lake Dream Team represents a large community of Latinos in Utah, generally living in the shadows because of their status as illegal immigrants. Representatives from the organization meet with Sen. Lee's staff, voicing their opinions on humane reform.

They say the meeting was largely positive, and that they were told Lee is looking closely at the possibility of sponsoring additional legislation to address specific aspects of reform, but say they need a collective body to prove how influential that reform would be.

"We need people to come out and share their stories. So that people can see this is beyond politics and beyond bills and laws. This is a very human issue. This is about families being separated," said Itza Hernandez, vice president of the Salt Lake Dream Team.

The Salt Lake Dream Team says they plan to visit with staff members for all of Utah's representatives to show that even though the DREAM Act was shot down, their dreams of legal citizenship remain alive.