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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    871 march over border legislation

    Hundreds of protestors lined the street outside of U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl’s northwest office on Friday to protest a series of immigration bills being discussed in the Senate.

    Cardboard signs in English and Spanish displaying slogans like “”Senator Kyl – we are not the enemy, we are part of the solution”” and “”Kyl: no more walls”” were visible among the crowd of protestors.

    The protests, organized by the Border Action Network, were held in direct response to a debate held last week in the U.S. Senate discussing comprehensive immigration reform.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Kyl serves, must finish writing the legislation for comprehensive immigration reform today.

    Proposals include House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner’s House Bill 4437, which would make it a felony to be in the country illegally.

    Officials for Border Action Network said the bill would deputize local police to enforce immigration law, increase the buildup of border enforcement and outlaw humanitarian and other forms of aid and support for illegal immigrants. Kyl supports the legislation.

    Kyl co-wrote the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. His bill calls for the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S.

    Randall Smith, a Border Action Network spokesman, said current immigration reform being discussed in the Senate only serves to persecute illegal immigrants.

    “”It’s more of the same, it isn’t going to work,”” Smith said.

    Smith said at least 871 people attended the event on Friday, but Border Action Network’s Web site estimated Friday’s crowd to have 1,200 people.

    Kyl’s office released a short statement regarding the protest.

    “”I have advocated for the adoption of a comprehensive plan that increases border security, provides a temporary-worker program, ensures enforcement of our laws at the border and at the workplace and deals with those illegal immigrants already in the country,”” the statement said.

    The protest in front of Kyl’s office in Tucson coincided with a march in Phoenix, where police estimated more than 20,000 marched near Kyl’s Phoenix office.

    A march in Los Angeles on Saturday drew about 500,000 demonstrators. Marches also occurred in Columbus, Ohio, Denver, and Charlotte, N.C.

    The Arizona Legislature has over 50 bills regarding the illegal immigration and border security this session, more than any other topic.

    One of the most notable bills is a proposed ballot measure that would make English the state’s official language and require that government functions be conducted in English. The bill was approved by the House on Thursday.

    A similar bill was vetoed last year by Gov. Janet Napolitano.

    A planning meeting for the Border Action Network will be held on Wednesday at 7 p.m. More information can be found by calling (520) 623-4944.

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