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About a thousand people rallied in Colorado Springs for immigration reform. A group called Immigration Advocates of Colorado Springs organized the event, calling for reform that includes a guest worker program and legalization for immigrants already residing in the United States.
The group is also opposed to an initiative that may be on the November Ballot in Colorado. The initiative, that supporters call Defend Colorado Now, would prevent illegal immigrants from accessing non-emergency public services by requiring agencies to confirm a person’s legal status before giving out the service like welfare.
Immigration Advocates of Colorado Springs opposes the plan.
“We think that is not a wise comprehensive way to approach the immigration issues,” said group member Eric Popkin.
Carrying mostly American flags, people chanted and listened to speakers in both English and Spanish during the rally. It lasted about an hour and a half. Some talked about the contributions illegal immigrants give to the community and schools. They also mentioned the sales tax illegal immigrants pay while in the U.S.
Some signs read “I Have a Dream” or “We are Workers Not Criminals.”
A few protesters listened to the rally, holding their own signs reading “Stop the Invasion” or “Illegal Aliens Go Home.”
One protester says he knows most illegal immigrants are hard workers, but they should come to the United States legally.
“There are legal ways to go about immigration that happen every day. They need to do it that way,” said Michael Hickman.
Many in the rally chanted they are home.