One thing most of us have in common: nearly everyone can trace their roots to an immigrant.
"Before we were us, we were 'them,'" Campos said Monday night, speaking at a panel discussion at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem.
The event, put together by the group Organizing for Action (OFA)-Lehigh Valley, was timed in advance of the Senate's immigration reform vote, expected to come later this week.
The audience watched a short film—The Dream is Now, from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Gugghenheim—that followed a group of young people whose lives were essentially on hold due to citizenship limbo.
The bill before the Senate would streamline the citizenship process, while also holding undocumented immigrants accountable before they could get citizenship.
It's also aimed at cracking down on companies that hire undocumented workers and adding more security to the borders.
The border security component of the bill was added by Republican Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota, and helped bring more Republican backing to the legislation.
While the bill has bipartisan support, panelist Kevin Santos argued it no longer makes political sense not to support this kind of reform, given the nation's growing Latino population.
"You cannot gain any sort of voter base when you are consistently beating up their family members on immigration," Santos said. "It doesn’t get any clearer than that."
Panelists also say the bill will help the economy. Campos pointed to a Congressional Budget Office report that says the bill would cut the deficit by close to $1 trillion over the following ten years.
Santos said the bill will make it a lot tougher for people who re-enter the country illegally. He noted that one of his clients holds the record for fastest re-entry: 13 minutes.
But it will also help hard-working, law-abiding immigrants who “disappeared into the fabric of America" and just want citizenship.
“There’s no dog barking. The police have never been there," Santos said. "And you’ve probably shaken hands with them and maybe clinked cups of coffee with them in the morning.”