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May Day Rallies Held For Immigration Reform

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May Day rallies are traditionally geared toward workers' rights. But this year, the Latino community is incorporating immigration reform all across the country.

The rallies are taking on a little bit more urgency this year with a bipartisan immigration reform bill in the Senate.

Supporters are hoping these marches will put some pressure on Congress to get something done.

"We're very hopeful and I think that the community is very aware and very interested in getting educated this time around," Laura Martinez, Mi Familia Vota Northern Nevada Coordinator said.

Two weeks ago, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators introduced legislation to create a path toward citizenship for 11-million immigrants.

While both parties may not agree exactly how to address immigration reform, they do agree a solution is long overdue.

"There needs to be a roadmap to citizenship that keeps families together that guarantees public safety," Bob Fulkerson, Executive Director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada said.

"It's a mess," Dave Buell, Washoe County Republican Party Chairman said. "We have to fix it and something has to be done."

The immigration movement has gained momentum in the past few years, as DREAMers have gotten more involved.

They are immigrants brought here illegally as children.

"When you've gone to church with these kids, when you've gone to school with them, when your parents have gone to work together, it breaks down those barriers," Fulkerson said.

Along with a path to citizenship, the 844-page bill also includes the Dream Act, worker programs, and benefits.

Republicans say one of their biggest concerns is border security.

"It sounds like they're talking about that," Buell said. "Sounds like they're serious about that and I think the rest of the stuff, we can work out because we all know we can't just gather everybody up and ship them out of here. So, let's work on it."

"It's refreshing to a lot of activists and community leaders that both sides are coming to an agreement and compromising on this very important issue," Martinez said.

Congress is expected to vote on the immigration bill sometime this summer.

Written by Paul Nelson

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