Immigration Rally Held In Longview - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/30/06-Longview

Immigration Rally Held In Longview

An issue that has rallied migrant workers and Hispanics across the country was again the focus of a march and rally in Longview. Winding through the streets of Longview, they wanted their voices to be heard.

Organizers wanted to rally the Hispanic community against proposed legislation against immigrants. "This was historical. It hadn't been done in the past. Something got to start and I think it's about the immigrant community in this area getting together and make their voices heard," said rally organizer and Longview-based attorney Jose Sanchez.

Far from the 2,000 that were expected, around 300 people marched. Many believe the light turnout was from fear of reprisals from employers and the government. And some had already lost their jobs for attending other rallies.

"A lot of people told me, 'We think immigration is going to be at the march and we don't want to go.' So, I think that was a big effect on this rally," said Sanchez.

But those who did attend heard speeches on how immigrants must protect their rights and the futures of their children. It was a rally dominated by American flags. And those who attended were pro-citizen and not foreign nationalistic.

Some who had no connection to the cause even came from long distances to support the rally. "I felt as a citizen and as a human being I should come out here and just support these people and say that everyone has a right to walk in dignity in this country," said College Station visitor Jessie Rester.

They want equality for citizens and immigrants, and they hope these rallies help the cause.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

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