Thousands join protest against immigration law

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ATLANTA --- Thousands of marchers stormed the Georgia Capitol on Saturday to protest the state's new immigration law, which they say creates an unwelcome environment for people of color and those in search of a better life.

Claudia Murvartian-Rhim, 7, was among the protesters in Atlanta. Police and organizers estimated between 8,000 and 14,000 people turned out, filling the blocks around the Capitol.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Claudia Murvartian-Rhim, 7, was among the protesters in Atlanta. Police and organizers estimated between 8,000 and 14,000 people turned out, filling the blocks around the Capitol.

Men, women and children of all ages converged on downtown Atlanta for the march and rally. Capitol police and organizers estimated the crowd at between 8,000 and 14,000. They filled the blocks around the Capitol, holding signs decrying House Bill 87 and reading "Immigration Reform Now!"

Friends Jessica Bamaca and Melany Cordero held a poster that read: "How would you feel if your family got broken apart?"

Bamaca was born in the U.S., but her mother and sister are from Guatemala. She said she fears they will be deported.

"I would be here by myself," said Jessica, 13. "I have a feeling (the governor) doesn't know the pain affecting families. If he were to be in our position, how would he react?"

Several different groups stood with the largely Latino crowd, including representatives from the civil rights movement.

"You are my brothers and my sisters," the Rev. Timothy McDonald told the crowd. "Some years ago, they told people like me we couldn't vote. We did what you are doing today. We are going to send a message to the powers that be ... that when the people get united, there is no government that can stop them. Don't let them turn you around."

MiLi Lai, a student at Emory who is Chinese, attended the rally because the immigration law doesn't just apply to Latinos, but "all non-American people."

"We are the same community," Lai said. "We have to fight for our rights."

Bellanira Avoytes came to the rally with her husband and three children. Though she is a legal resident and her children were born in Georgia, she does not see herself as separate from undocumented Latinos.

"I have family who are not residents," she said. "I am together with the Latin people. I love Georgia. I have stayed here for 18 years. I want to buy a house here."

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Asitisinaug 07/03/11 - 05:46 am
What part of Illegal do you

What part of Illegal do you not understand?

Why should those who broke our laws even be allowed to protest them?

Why should those who broke our laws and entered illegally be entitled to anything over those waiting to enter our country legally?

While I understand and agree that is simply not possible to remove all illegal persons from our country, it is absurd that law breakers complain and protest and even worse that a country such as Mexico where the laws are far more strict than ours and are actually enforced be allowed to enter any opinion or argument into our court system.

If the Federal Government continues to ingore its responsibility to its citizens then the states WILL stand up and do what is needed, as can be seen in state after state enacting new laws.

First, we need to FULLY SECURE OUR BORDERS! This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the protection of this country and its laws. Those who try to bring race into the equation are part of the problem, not the solution.

Second, we need to REMOVE all illegals who are violating laws other than entry into the country illegally - any arrests for laws other than minor traffic violations should result in immediate removal.

Third, any illegals abusing our systems, using government aid of any form, etc. or failing to be a productive member of our society should also be removed from the country.

Last, once borders are secured and we begin removing non-productive illegals or those who commit crimes, we can then allow for a documented worker program and place individuals who wish to stay on a path to citizenship.

Requirements at the very minimum should include the following:
1. Full time employment with taxes being paid
2. Not on any government aid program
3. Have not violated any US or state Laws (other than illegal entry)
4. Proof of major medical insurance not paid by taxpayers
5. Able to speak proper English
6. Meets all other current requirements to become a US Citizen

If a current illegal wishes to remain in the US, has not broken our laws, is productive member of society, pays taxes, is able to take care of theirself without being a drain on the system and is able to speak English working dilligently to do so, then by all means work with them to help them acheive their goal of becoming a US Citizen.

Otherwise, REMOVE THEM AT ONCE as we have enough freeloaders and criminals in our country already and don't need others coming from anywhere else in the world no matter their race, sex or age.

copperhead 07/03/11 - 09:28 am
It is totally racist hatred

It is totally racist hatred to require immigrants to obey our laws! They should be exempt from all U.S. laws and be given citizenship and tax exempt status for life. They should be given all taxpayer subsidies like food stamps,free housing, and free medical care. It's only a trillion dollars per year-chicken feed for all the benefits the U.S. gets from these law breakers.

Granddaddy John
Granddaddy John 07/03/11 - 01:28 pm

When are the AMERICAN PEOPLE going to quit complaining to each other and come out into the streets and demand our government to enforce our laws.One of the main reasons of unemployment is the illegals working and getting paid under the table.They get everything handed to them and the only taxes they pay are sales tax.People of America get your heads out of your rectum and lets do something, enough is enough.

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