Immigration Reform for Equal Rights

Immigration Rally for Equal Rights

By Briselda Molina 

Salem, OR– United for a shared cause, supporters of immigrant reform rallied at the state Capitol Friday midday. “Immigration Reform Now” was the message Latino people emphasized during an estimated four hour protest.

Watching, I thought that nothing stopped the crowd from being heard. Not even the recent swine flu fears, or the opposing side to their cause, or the weather threatening to rain.  Nothing. As the organizers lead the shout “Si se puede—Yes we can,” people followed with great enthusiasm.

People displayed the American flag with pride

Photo by Anabel Barrera

At one p.m., three children established the beginning of the protest with a loud shout “Se puede” at which people shouted back with a loud “Siii” and the crowd began to walk around the Capitol building. 

 Children leading the way

Photo by Anabel Barrera

During the demonstration, children led the walk holding large banners from organizations present at the protest. Among them were CAUSA and Voz Hispana, Causa Chavista along with a large banner that read “Escuchanos Presidente, La Reforma es Urgente:” Listen to us Mr. President, immigration reform is urgent.

But the rally was not just shouting and walking. There was also a band, and a DJ playing typical Latin music. The music contained lyrics that narrated the immigrant struggles in the U.S. which served to emphasize their message.

 Some people sang and danced to the music demonstrating with this their culture and positive attitudes towards immigration reform. Walking around I heard people shout for equal rights and opportunities for personal growth. Also, their desire to have the right to driver licenses and reunite with deported family. 

“I’ve been living in the United States for 20 years. I came here today because I want a better life for my family” said 53 year old Vicente Cruz.  Just like Cruz most people agreed that being at the rally was their way to be heard to better their lives in the U.S.

“We came to support the separated families who got deported. It is unfair that children are being separated from their parents. We want to help families reunite” said Ana Vasquez, 23, who was protesting along three other women and two children.

The Register Guard said the crowd numbered 3,500.  Although the multitude was not as large as previous years, people said their hopes are higher this year.

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Photo by Anabel Barrera

The rally, which was expected to end around three in the afternoon, and was one of many rallies around the country who shared the message “Immigration reform now.”

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Photo by Anabel Barrera

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