Tucson business owner disappointed by WH's proposed immigration - Tucson News Now

Tucson business owner disappointed by WH's proposed immigration rule changes

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A bill which would cut immigration by half in the United States is being supported by the White House.

The bill, with the acronym RAISE, would cut the number of green cards issued from 1 million to 500,000 over the next 10 years.

A green card gives immigrants permanent residence in the US, generally a precursor to becoming a citizen.

The new system would rely on a points system, which would determine whether an immigrant would be considered for a green card. It would require a skill set that is needed in the U.S. before being considered.

Under that system, Rosy Espriu would likely never have received a green card, become an American citizen, or owned a business in South Tucson.

She's the owner of Rosy's Beauty Salon, which has been open 14 years and employs three people.

She came to the U.S. when she was 18 years old with a 2-year-old daughter in tow. She was granted a green card under President Ronald Reagan's amnesty program and the rest is history. She became a citizen in 1997.

Espriu speaks broken English, which would likely keep her from a green card under the new rules, but she believes it is OK that it would be a requirement.

"It helps with the economic opportunity," she said through an interpreter. 

She also has four brothers who have opened businesses now and her mother has recently received her green card. The proposed rules have her disappointed though. 

"It's just going backwards, we should be going forward," she said. "There are a lot of obstacles to the Latino community. They're putting up barriers in the path of being a US citizen."

Patricia Mejia is an immigration attorney in Tucson who was caught off guard by the new bill.

"It just came out of nowhere," she said. "It 's not like there were rumors or hints that it was coming."

Mejia feels it will have a detrimental effect on families of which Espriu is a perfect example. 

"Are you going to open a business now? No," she said. "If you're not able to bring family members, why invest in a country which does not welcome your family."

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