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Tens of thousands rally for immigration reform in DC

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 10 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 11 2013 04:55:01 AM CDT

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the Capitol in Washington DC to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

WASHINGTON -

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in front of the Capitol in Washington DC to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Among the crowd was a group from our area.

It all started around 8:00 Wednesday morning as dozens of people with Grupo de Apoyo -- a support group for Hispanic immigrants-- boarded a bus in Allentown to join thousands of others in Washington D.C.

At the rally, our cameras caught up with the group and director, Erika Sutherland.

"You know a demonstration always serves two functions. One function is to get the base really excited, immigrants in Allentown are really excited. We had an amazing turnout, pouring of donations," said Sutherland.

Armando Jimenez, 26, from Allentown, said he's come to numerous events.

"This is my fourth or fifth rally, I've been here several times and that's how we got differed action, through activism," said Jimenez.

Allentown resident Fernando Vazquez Munoz, says after 16 years of being in the states illegally, he finally was granted a green card two years ago and looks forward to the day he can call himself a citizen.

"I love my Mexican flag and I respect a lot the American flag. Because of America I can come over here and work and I have a lot of freedom," said Munoz.

As for the turnout, tens of thousands of people came to Wednesday's event. We're told in the neighborhood of 60,000, among them 650 people who travelled here in 11 buses all from the state of Pennsylvania.

And undocumented immigrants weren't the only ones at Wednesday's rally. It also included many who are already afforded the right to citizenship who simply want to share the opportunities made available in the United States.

"I'm able to accomplish my dream of going to college if I want to and going on scholarship," said Jasmine Leonor, 16, of Bethlehem. "There's a lot of people around the world that can't really do that and being an American citizen just has so many more benefits -- more than anywhere else in the world."