Voices across the nation are calling for change within the federal government, but one BYU student is putting action behind his words for immigration reform.
Nick Fierro, a BYU senior studying exercise science, has determined to not let government gridlock slow his efforts in bringing a positive change to an issue with significant impact on his home state of Arizona.
“(The local government) said that the undocumented population was just drug dealers and people trying to ruin the community,” Fierro said. “But because I’m Latino, I grew up with a bunch of undocumented people so I knew that that wasn’t true. I knew that, yeah, there were people taking advantage of the system, but I knew that a good majority of them were good, hardworking people.”
Fierro decided to draft a piece of legislation called “The Fierro Bill: A Pathway to Citizenship” after witnessing a lengthy debate over immigration in Arizona.
“A couple summers went by, and I realized that nothing had changed,” Fierro said. “It was still the same stalemate between deportation and amnesty, and so you had two extremes to the story.”
He said he felt the nation needed a compromise, so after taking a political science class in which he learned to write bills, Fierro decided to draft a piece of legislation to incorporate community service as the punishment for the undocumented population. More information on the bill can be found at facebook.com/d2mad.
“This is the type of bill that’s just to the country, fair to the undocumented and beneficial to both,” he said.
The proposal currently has 193 supporters in 19 different states. Current supporters say they admire Fierro’s intentions behind the bill.
“He cares more about building a better America than proving his idea is his best,” said Kyle Condie, a junior in the accounting program and supporter of the bill.
Fierro and his team are currently seeking the endorsements of city officials in Provo in order to bring legitimacy to the bill as they seek to send it to Congress.
“It’s a lot different than a couple BYU students saying to a congressman, ‘Hey, we just wrote this bill,’” Fierro said. “It’s a lot different to have a mayor say, ‘Hey, this is good for my city. I support this bill.’”
Fierro met with Mayor John Curtis to discuss the proposed bill on Friday, Oct. 18. He plans to meet with the mayor of Orem and other local politicians in the weeks and months to come.