SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Claudia Gonzalez is no longer in hiding.
For years, the Mexican immigrant lived in the shadows using bogus identities and false social security numbers.
“I didn't want to break the law,” Gonzalez says. “I wasn't using another number just because I wanted to. I just wanted to have a good job.”
But through the right channels, Gonzalez is on the path to citizenship.
She runs a local business and is a co-host on radio La Jefa, a Spanish speaking radio station.
Their topic Tuesday focused on the latest endorsement for immigration reform.
A powerful U.S. Senator with tea party backing now says it's time for change.
“The first part of my plan, border security, must be certified by the border patrol and an investigator general and then a little different from the bi-partisan plan,” U.S. Senator Rand Paul told the national U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Some may object to this, but if we don't I don't think we'll get conservatives on board, which I think we need to get everybody on board that this is good for the country. I call this plan trust but verify.”
Senator Paul also told the chamber that mass deportations are not realistic and advocates a plan that will lead to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
“He has taken the new attitude, a positive attitude towards Latinos,” says Tony Yapias, a community activist. “More than any Republican has done so far.”
Yapias says Republicans are finally getting the message that they can't win the white house without the Latino vote.
For Gonzales, she's hopeful others can soon come out of the shadows.
“I know there's people like me that just want to work, have a job, work for their family and be good citizens,” she says.
Next month a bi-partisan group of senators will release proposed legislation that will begin a national debate about immigration reform.