State News

Raleigh joins national vigil for immigration reform

Posted February 16, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— In an effort to keep the issue of immigration in the public eye, community leaders in North Carolina joined others in more than 100 cities nationwide, including Raleigh, Monday in a prayer vigil for immigrant families and for immigration reform.

The event, part of a nationwide movement called Prayer, Renewal and Action on Immigration, was an attempt to bring humanity and compassion into the public dialogue.

Advocates pray for immigrant families Advocates pray for immigrant families

"We need to work really hard this year," said Gail Phares, with Witness for Peace, a grassroots group focused on bringing change to U.S. policies that opponents say contribute to poverty in Latin America. "We need to stop the raids and deportations now. We need to work for change in the immigration law, now."

So far this year, the economy has overshadowed immigration in Congress.

"The economy is just such an overriding issue to everyone, and jobs are at a premium right now," U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., said.

The group Americans for Legal Immigration says anyone in the United States illegally should be deported.

"We should be praying for Americans who lost their jobs, work for depreciated wages, have their identity stolen and are victims of crime because of illegal aliens," the group says.

"If you look at Gaston County, 80 percent of the people deported in 2007 were deported for misdemeanors, like driving without a license," Irene Godinez, director of advocacy for El Pueblo, said, "not for committing those heinous crimes that people would like for you to believe."

Federal immigration officials are partnering with more than a dozen of North Carolina's law enforcement agencies to find illegal immigrants in jails and deport them.

More than 3,000 people were deported from North Carolina last year.

146 Comments

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  • chicana Feb 19, 2009

    to all the people that dont understand immigrant, ya'll need to humble yourselves and see exactly why it is that they are coming here. This isnt just your land..it's others people's land also. And when immigrants come here,they do obey the laws here..just like YOU..AND IF YOU DONT LIKE IT ..WELL TOOOOOOO BAADDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • chicana Feb 19, 2009

    affirmativediversity:

    all i can say to you right now is that the way your thinking is pathetic to me. Because your too caught up in your own little bubble that you cant see things from another person's point of view.

  • Sessy V--V Feb 18, 2009

    hope ICE shows up

  • tweathe850 Feb 18, 2009

    The catholic church and any others should lose their tax exempt status for this travesty against America. Illegals have ruined our economy and we bend over backwards for them. It's high time to say NO MAS ILLEGALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHORA

  • delilahk2000 Feb 18, 2009

    We already give them services they should not be entitled to, when we do not provide for our REAL CITIZENS>>>>>WHEN IT ALL NEEDS TO STOP>>>>>IF WE LOOKED AFTER OUR OWN CITIZENS, AS MUCH AS WE LOOK AFTER ILLEGALS,THEN MAYBE SOME OF OUR TAX BURDEN, WOULD NOT BE SO HIGH. THEY GET SS.,FREE MEDICAL,FOOD STAMPS, MEDICARE, WHEN i KNOW OF PEOPLE THAT ARE CITIZENS AND TAX PAYERS THAT DO NOT GET ANY OF THIS,SO WHY SHOULD THEY GET IT???????????????????

  • delilahk2000 Feb 18, 2009

    What part of illegle GODINEZ,does not get,when even being here is against THE LAW>>>>>>

  • WRALSUCKS Feb 17, 2009

    "Do you you actually think Joe Builder is going to cut into his profit margin just so he can replace Jose Sanchez with Tom Smith?"

    If the law was enforced and if he went to jail for 90 days or so, you can be sure he would, YES!

  • lissad821 Feb 17, 2009

    I will pray that all the illegals will be sent home along with their families until they can come to America the legal way and abide by our laws!

  • generic11 Feb 17, 2009

    "Do you actually think that developers and builders have been giving us a discount on the illegal labor costs?"
    Do you you actually think Joe Builder is going to cut into his profit margin just so he can replace Jose Sanchez with Tom Smith?

  • generic11 Feb 17, 2009

    "That's what we have been doing for years! Do you actually think that developers and builders have been giving us a discount on the illegal labor costs? Heck no... they have been pocketing the savings.. not passing it on. Your costs are not going to go up, quite the opposite. I would rather choose to pay more for a desired service than to be forced to pay more for all of this mess. Supporting illegal activity is not the position to hold."

    Yeah, I think you are paying less for many goods and services because of them being here.
    I know for a fact that many builders have to keep prices down to compete.
    I really do not think it's a win-win economically to deport them all. Go ahead. Do it. People will be whining and crying about how much more expensive things are.

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