Immigration reform protests held by citizens separated from undocumented spouses

U.S. citizens separated from their undocumented spouses held rallies outside the offices of Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn on Friday.

The protesters called on the senators to support a new immigration bill.

H.R. 2920, also known as the American Families United Act, introduced by Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso) would allow judges to issue citizenship to spouses without criminal records.

"We have to begin to open up legal pathways because what we're seeing at the border is a direct result of closing off and eliminating those legal pathways," said Rep. Escobar. 

The bill also removes a provision that requires a U.S. citizen parent to be physically in the United States for at least five years before the child's birth in order for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship at birth.

RELATED: Migrant children bused from Texas to NYC will get help for school year under new program

Mary Mejia attended the protest. She married her husband Carlos 11 years ago, but he is currently barred from becoming a citizen because he crossed the border twice and stayed for more than a year each time.

In order to follow the law, Mejia moved to Mexico to be with her husband.

"I go back and forth, work in the states remotely. I have to go back and forth, kids go to school in Mexico," Mejia said.

Mejia has 5 more years before her husband can apply for citizenship.

"I would love to bring them back for high school, but their father is amazing, and my best friend," she said.

Josie Kohel is also facing a bar because she previously claimed to be a citizen. Her husband, Eric, says she went to interview for her green card and was told she would be deported.

"[She] had her visa interview with the consulate, came out crying," said Kohel. "Thought it was the best day of my life, ended up being the worst day of my life. They told her she could not come back until 2028. We had to spend 4 days knowing we were not going to be together."

Supporters of the American Families United Act are looking for a Republican sponsor for the bill.

FOX 4 News reached out to Senator Cruz and Senator Cornyn's offices about the bill, but their staff has not responded at this time.