The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rallies planned across Arizona

    Tucson and Phoenix will be home to two of an estimated 136 rallies today protesting a proposed immigration reform being considered in the U.S. Congress.

    Organizers of “”The National Day of Action for Immigrant

    Justice”” estimate 2 million people will attend rallies across the country to protest House Bill 4437.

    The National Capital Immigration Coalition said it opposes the legislation, which criminalizes an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants residing in this country, outlaws any form of assistance to illegal immigrants and would build a 700-mile-long wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    On its Web site, the group states, “”Our goal is to stop anti-immigrant legislation from becoming law and to pass real, comprehensive immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship, unites families and ensures workplace and civil-rights protections for all.”” The coalition represents immigrant, labor, faith, civil-rights and business groups.

    The marches are a culmination of dozens of protests across the nation demanding an alternative to HB 4437.

    Juan Carlos, a spokesman for the NCIC, said his organization wants Congress to kill HB 4437 and to start work on new immigration legislation that includes consultation with the Hispanic community.

    Carlos said his organization favors alternative legislation, like the Senate Guest Worker Bill, written by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz, and Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. The McCain-Kennedy bill would offer a guest-worker program and eventual path for some illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. It was stalled in the Senate on Friday.

    A compromise on immigration had been reached by Senate leaders on Thursday, but a refusal by Senate Democrats to hear any amendments to the compromise have stalled it in the Senate.

    In his radio address Saturday, President Bush blamed Democrats for not passing the measure.

    “”I call on the Senate minority leader to end his blocking tactics and allow the Senate to do its work and pass a fair, effective immigration-reform bill,”” Bush said.

    The immigration legislation will not be heard until after a two-week Senate recess.

    The march in Phoenix is expected to draw 100,000 protesters, marching from Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum and ending at the Capitol. In Tucson, thousands are expected to march today from the UA to the federal buildings in downtown Tucson.

    Student groups will be meeting in Alumni Plaza today at 11 a.m. and marching to Armory Park, at South Sixth Avenue and East 13th Street, for a rally.

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