Groups march in Oakland over immigration law

April 30, 2010 12:18:19 PM PDT
A big march and demonstration got underway in Oakland Friday morning. Young people are taking a stand against Arizona's tough new immigration law.

It's the latest protest in the Bay Area against Arizona's new bill. It requires local law enforcement to check the legal status of people they suspect might be illegal immigrants.

The beats and the blessings began early Friday morning in Oakland in preparation for a March calling for immigrant rights.

A group called Youth United for Justice organized the seven mile march from International Boulevard and 100th Avenue to city hall.

Those walking echo a growing movement around the Bay Area and natiowide challenging Arizona's new immigration bill.

"We're all marching because we're tired of our people being discriminated against, and so we need a reform now," said marcher Mariela Lara.

"We just want them to not expand that law to over here and to obviously veto that," said marcher Ricardo Cruz.

The bill -- S.B. 1070 -- was recently signed into law by governor Jan Brewer and takes effect this summer. It allows local police to question any immigrant they believe may be in the country illegally. If undocumented, they can be deported.

"We find the law S.B. 1070 to be inhumane because it's just going to separate families, and it's going to racially profile people just because of the way of their looks," said marcher Ivan Cruz.

Marchers led the group with a sign saying "no human is illegal". Different races came together -- Latino, black, white.

"It's just taking a step back from making immigrants have the right to be a citizen," said marcher Rachel Velen.

Immigrants rights advocates are pushing for a comprehensive federal immigration reform bill and believe there are solutions other than Arizona's harsher approach.

"It's been many years that they've been talking about the amnesty, right? So I think that should be the solution and just come about with how can we work with it," said march organizer Lizbeth Gomez.

Oakland is now joining San Francisco in proposing a resolution urging city government and its residents to boycott business with Arizona -- including companies headquartered there, like U-Haul and Kragen Auto Parts.

Once marchers arrive at city hall a rally will get underway.


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