Thousands Rally For Immigrant Rights In Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/10/06-Tyler

Thousands Rally For Immigrant Rights In Tyler

More than 2,000 demonstrators in Tyler joined the millions across the nation who showed support for illegal immigrants. Their mission was to protest immigration reform proposals pending in Congress. A bill that cleared the U.S.House has angered many immigrants and leaders because it would make it a felony to be in the country illegally.

Some streets in Tyler were closed for the protest including parts of Ferguson Street, Erwin Street and College Avenue. Demonstrators want Congress to provide documentation for nearly 11-million illegal immigrants. "We all came here because in our countries there aren't the same opportunities there are here," said Rosaura Alvarez, 23, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico five years ago.

Most of the demonstrators waved American flags and wore white shirts to promote peace and solidarity. They chanted and prayed that lawmakers in Washington would hear their message. "We hope that Congress will listen to us and provide documentation for these undocumented immigrants," said East Texas Hispanic Business Forum secretary Flor Jones.

The event was organized by Longview attorney Jose Sanchez, who says the two weeks he spent planning it paid off. "We had a lot of people that weren't immigrants, just rather Americans, African-Americans, Caucasians, they were all here. I think that showed a lot, that we're all the same, we're all neighbors and we need to work together to make this country better."

After the rally, demonstrators marched down Ferguson Street to Bonner Avenue, then came back to the square. What lasted nearly three hours, participants say, could change the lives of millions.

Oralia Ortega reporting, ortega@kltv.com

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