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Immigration reform supporters rally in Durham

Posted August 15, 2010
Updated August 16, 2010

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— Immigration reform advocates gathered Sunday to remind candidates running for office in North Carolina that Hispanic voters plan to make their voices heard in November.

More than 1500 people attended the rally at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 810 W. Chapel Hill Street in Durham. The majority of those in the crowd want immigration reform aimed at reunifying families and at taking a humane approach to the undocumented population.

“Everywhere we have good and bad people. If we really want to help the good people here, we really need to find good policies,” said Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, El Centro's executive director.

The rally was organized to encourage Latinos across the state to take part in this year's election. Between 2004 and 2008, Latino voting in the United States grew by 30 percent, organizers said.

However, B.J. Lawson, a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, likely won't be a favorite at the polls with Latinos in Sunday's crowd. 

“We cannot tolerate amnesty. It’s cutting the line. It’s not fair. It’s not just,” Lawson said at the rally.

Lawson was booed when he spoke against granting citizenship to people who are in the country illegally.

“It’s not enough to get in front of people who are going to be a friendly crowd and promise what they want to hear,” Lawson said in response to his unwelcoming reception.

Immigration reform rally draws large crowd Immigration reform rally draws large crowd

Fourth District Congressman David Price disputed Lawson's use of the term "amnesty" and talked about the importance of the undocumented population being able to move toward legal status.

“We need to solve this. This is too important to be just fodder for the talk shows,” Price said. “They’re not radical principles. They’re kind of common sense principles."

Public outcry over immigration reform has been building for months across the country.  At the center of the debate is an Arizona law that allows law enforcement officers to ask anyone they detain about their immigration status if there is a suspicion they're in the country illegally.

The law's supporters say it will help authorities secure the Mexico border, but opponents say it's unconstitutional and encourages racial profiling.

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  • Vietnam Vet Aug 17, 2010

    Are some of the folks on this forum not getting the definition of the word "Illegal"? There are ways to enter this country legally. I have no problem at all with immigration to this country. It's what this nation stands for! Bottom line...if you wish to enter this country, to better your life, then do so LEGALLY!! Get a job, pay your taxes, and become a legitimate member of our society. There should be no amnesty for those already in this country illegally. They need to be sent back to where ever they came from and re-enter legally if they wish to. Where do people get off condoning and rewarding illegal behavior? If this means relaxing the immigration laws, then so be it!

  • soyousay Aug 17, 2010

    tommy..wtach a video..

    actually rather than a talking head (I can just imagine what its says)..try the source document

  • tommys5 Aug 17, 2010

    "Isn't that why this nations was established?"jsimpson1013

    Go to www.lawsonforcongress.com and watch the 6 minute video.

  • jsimpson1013 Aug 17, 2010

    Why is that we forget that the U.S. was established by immigrants who were escaping some type of persecution? Why are we quick to cast the first stone on any illegal immigrant who crossing into the U.S. seeking the American dream? Isn't that why this nations was established? Our fathers came here and stole this land from Native Americans to create a freedom sanctuary from persecution and look at us now. A repeat of history all over again. And I truely do not believe the statistics that 90% of hispanics are illegal. That is racial discrimination. We can save people from some pain and suffering if we just learn from our past.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 17, 2010

    I’m guessing that all of the “illegals go home” folks here are all non-Christians?

    I mean, don’t real Christians follow their top guy (Jesus), during his most important speech (Sermon on the Mount) when he said what Christians call their Lord's Prayer. "...as we forgive those who trespass against us..."?

  • chevybelair57sd Aug 17, 2010

    hopefully all us other taxpayers will vote also and rid this state of the tax and spend special interest politicians and non contributing special interest groups too. Wakeup folks or your taxes will match the upper east coast rates.

  • 6079 SMITH W Aug 16, 2010

    raystewart: The move to one of the affected communities, like Siler City, Sanford, or Angier, would be a hoot if the news media actually showed up and reported on the dissent over the government-sanctioned illegal invasion of America.....yeah, right. FAT CHANCE......We can vote, though...but you better hurry, because soon you will be in the minority in your own country....and it won't matter if you DO vote.

  • shortcake53 Aug 16, 2010

    Luv2Camp, congrats to your friend for doing the work and making it, she should be very proud. I welcome her. To the others that just sneak over here, then want stuff handed to you, shame on you. You have earned nothing here. You have no rights here. You are not welcome.

  • bacchianm Aug 16, 2010

    So let us see here, hispanics are saying to our congressman and senators you better cater to us or we wont vote for you. Well, 95 percent of the hispanics in NC are not citizens. They are either green cards, work visas or illegals. So our congressmen will only lose 100 votes if they dont cater to the mexicans.

  • nbforrest Aug 16, 2010

    One of the so called originals, even more reason for border control!

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