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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students march in protest for second day

    Jacob Konst / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Tucson area high school students walked out of school and marched to the federal building Thursday, March 30th 2006, in protest against proposed immigration legislation. The bill being considered in the U.S. Senate would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant.
    Jacob Konst
    Jacob Konst / Arizona Daily Wildcat Tucson area high school students walked out of school and marched to the federal building Thursday, March 30th 2006, in protest against proposed immigration legislation. The bill being considered in the U.S. Senate would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant.

    Students not yet old enough to vote were confident they could influence congressional decisions yesterday.

    For the second day in a row, hundreds of Tucson high school students left their campuses yesterday and marched on East Sixth Street near the UA campus en route to downtown to protest a proposed federal crackdown on illegal immigration.

    Authorities estimate that more than 500 students from Tucson-area high schools began to march, some for miles, to the federal building, 300 W. Congress St., in downtown Tucson, though only a few UA students joined the demonstration.

    Outside the building, some students held signs, others painted their bodies and many raised Mexican and U.S. flags in protest as the rally commenced peacefully.

    The proposed legislation by the U.S. House would make being in the U.S. illegally a felony and create stiffer penalties for employers who provide work for illegal immigrants.

    Churches would also be required to check the citizenship status of parishioners before any help is given.

    “”I think it is wrong that our government is trying to take away people trying to come in to get a better life,”” said Robert Dutton, a Tucson High freshman. “”If they are restricting that, then they are restricting what this country is based on.””

    One UA student in attendance voiced a similar opinion.

    “”I’m out here because they’re calling us criminals and we’re not,”” said Edith Enriquez, a pre-education junior and one of the handful of UA students in attendance. “”We just want our civil rights respected.””

    Police kept a watchful eye on the crowd as they guided students away from traffic and passed out water to ensure the students stayed hydrated.

    Other than some traffic congestion, protestors remained peaceful and organized, Tucson Police Department reported.

    Across the street, employees from Hotel Tucson watched the event unfold.

    “”Personally, I think the kids don’t have any involvement,”” said Enrique Martinez, a chef at Hotel Tucson. “”Skipping school will not get their point across. They’re just creating a bigger mess by being down here.””

    Students left schools late yesterday morning from Catalina High Magnet School, Tucson High School, Flowing Wells High School and Palo Verde High Magnet School, among others. Additional groups came from Santa Rita High School, Pueblo High School, Rincon High School and other Tucson-region schools.

    “”We had about 150 kids walk off our campus,”” said David Baker, associate superintendent of Flowing Wells School District. “”I’ve joined them to make sure they stay safe.””

    Barker said the majority of Flowing Wells’ 1,900 students remained in class.

    Two buses from the Flowing Wells School District arrived to bring students back to campus, and some of the students had to wait for an empty bus to return before heading back to class.

    Other buses arrived soon after to shuttle students who wanted to return to their respective campuses.

    In past weeks, hundreds of thousands of protestors and high school students across the nation have rallied against the proposed legislation.

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