Mid-Missouri Man Speaks Out for Illegal Immigrants
Raul Alderete moved with virtually nothing from Mexico to the U.S. 16 years ago. Now, he owns a Columbia restaurant. And, as a former undocumented worker, he understands what's at stake for people coming here.
"In my country, it's hard to make good business" he said. "We come here to work hard and grow. This country has those opportunities for us."
And, as a business owner, Alderete appreciates the economic benefits.
"Without them, I don't think we can make so much money."
Officials estimated there are 22,000 illegal aliens in Missouri.
But, if Congress passes a new immigration law, those workers and anyone who helps or hires them could face federal charges.
Alderete can't accept that.
"I wasn't a criminal when I came here," he noted. "They need the same opportunities."
Alderete's brother-in-law is also a business owner. But, his furniture store wasn't open Monday so his employees could protest against the proposed law.