Teens Lobby Hill For New Immigration Bill

In most ways, Juan and Alex Gomez appear to be typical American teenagers. You could even call Juan exceptional, graduating high school with nearly perfect grades and a promising college career ahead of him.

Last week the brothers woke up to the reality of how different they are, reports CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella.

The Gomez family was swept up in a pre-dawn immigration raid in Miami.

"That just took us by storm. We had no idea," said Juan.

The Gomez brothers are illegal immigrants, brought to the U.S. from Colombia by their parents when the boys were 2 and 3.

Asked if he remembers anything from Colombia, Juan says no. "We were too young — our most distant memories are from here."

So are their most loyal friends, teenagers who took the fight to stop the brothers' deportation to Congress this week.

"They're lobbying for Juan and Alex, and a bill called the Dream Act," said one teen.

"To help these brothers, but more importantly to help so many others, because we finally put a face on the problem," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., told the teens.

The Dream Act would give some 65,000 high school graduates who came to the U.S. illegally as children a path to citizenship by completing either two years of either college or military service. The bill has been around for years, but will come up again in September, and faces the same resistance from opponents of immigration reform, who call this "educational amnesty."

"Just because somebody may be smart doesn't mean they should be exempt from the law," says Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif. "Just because somebody is liked a lot doesn't mean the laws should be broken or ignored."

"It was our parents that made the choices for us," says Alex. "Why should we be punished for their mistakes?"

Juan and Alex Gomez were given a reprieve from deportation until mid-September. If the Dream Act doesn't pass by then, they'll have to adjust to a new home in a country they can't even remember.
  • Amy Clark

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