Oct 122009
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Editor’s note: The quote given by Chair of CSU’s Campus Republicans Kelly Carnal should have read, “I think we need stronger borders and therefore reform, because there are far too many *illegal immigrants in the United States.” Illegal was added later by editor’s to reflect Carnal’s correct statement. The Collegian regrets the error.

In concert with a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced to Congress today, immigration reform advocates will take to the streets of Fort Collins to show their support for the legislation.

The march, which begins on the Oval with testimonials at 5:30 p.m., will lead down College Avenue to Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey’s office in Old Town and is one of 25 demonstrations that will take place in the state.

Victoria Watson, spokesperson for Forces Empowering All Rights, said the march is intended to show people in Markey’s district want to solve the social inequities that stem from immigration policy and show support for legislation and legislators aimed at reforming those policies.

“We need to know who is for immigration reform — who we can support,” Watson said about Colorado’s legislators.

Watson said that F.E.A.R., along with Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition and Reform Immigration for America, support the comprehensive reform because it affects citizens and non-citizens alike.

“We’re all in this because it affects all of us,” she said.

Michael Brydge, senior anthropology major, said the current policy does not allow immigrants access to adequate health care, educational opportunities, workforce opportunities or the ability to enlist in the armed forces.

“I know people who would love to fight for our country, but don’t speak up because they’re scared of being deported,” Brydge said.

Brydge and his two 7-year-old sons will be participating in the march and he said he wants his children to understand that they cannot pass judgment on an individual based on where he or she is born. He said the community also needs to realize that this is a “pressing issue.”

“I feel so often that people in the U.S. are viewed as numbers or objects in a way instead of humans with needs, desires and wants,” he said.

“This is not just politics, these are people.”

Chairman of the College Republicans Kelly Carnal said she thought immigration reform should come in the form of making the process of applying for citizenship more efficient. She added, however, “I think we need stronger borders and therefore reform, because there are far too many *illegal immigrants in the United States.”

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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