The immigration battle is heating up again. This time, however, with kids tired of seeing their families ripped apart.
Tuesday, thousands of people across the country, including in Colorado, marched and rallied to make their feelings known. They are demanding change that they say was promised by the Obama Administration.
Chanting si se puede, yes we can in Spanish, a large group of immigrants gathered in Longmont. It was the same at the University of Denver.
The time for change is now, said a speaker at the DU event.
The rallies were sponsored by Reform Immigration for America, a national group aimed at pressuring lawmakers to change immigration laws. In Colorado, the group recruited 185 students within the past two weeks to attend training to learn how to run campaigns.
Sonia Marquez said the rallies are a result of that training.
A lot of times children don't choose to come to the United States, said Dulce Saenz, of DU Students for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. But once their parents make that choice, it is often the students that don't get to help their people and progress.
For many of the youth, this is an emotional issue.
I really do miss my dad, said Jelissa Torres, a 9-year-old whose father was deported to Mexico. I don't really get how Mexicans and people from other countries aren't like us.
One of the main purposes of the rally was to highlight the way current immigration law splits families.
Many of the protesters said that now that deportations are increasing and immigration reform is needed to allow illegal immigrants to obtain legal status and to stop families from being torn apart.
"There are far too many separations of families, children are left here alone, the parents are deported and there is nobody to take care of those children-citizens, said Luisa, a Salvadorean legal immigrant, who has many of her relatives in the U.S. without legal papers.
The Colorado rallies are in response to Rep. Luis Gutierrez' principals he promised to use to structure an immigration reform bill.
Several Colorado lawmakers who are involved with immigration laws said they did not know about the rallies.
Rep. Kent Lambert told 7News the cities that held these rallies are sanctuary cities that protect undocumented workers.
With the real unemployment rate at 17 percent, people are fed up with people coming here for the sole purpose of taking their jobs, said Lambert.
President Barack Obama has said his administration would pursue reform this year, but expected no action on legislation before next year. President George W. Bush twice failed to get congress to pass similar legislation.
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