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Immigrants and Allies Marching in Connecticut May 1st

April 30, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Organizers of immigrants' rights marches on Saturday (May 1) in New Haven and Hartford are calling Arizona's tough new immigration law "problematic" – although they hope the furor that surrounds it will bring more people to their events.

Kurt Westby, a district leader for Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, says its members include 4,500 building service workers in Connecticut.

"The issue for our members has to do with normalization, and coming up with a national plan to deal with the immigration issue, which includes some road to citizenship."

In a national survey from the Pew Research Center, Americans are split between those who say immigrants strengthen American society and those who believe they threaten traditional American values.

John Lugo of the New Haven group Unidad Latino en Accion (Latinos United in Action) has been helping to organize May Day immigration rallies since 2006. He also supports a roadmap to citizenship, and says he realizes there will be a price to pay for those who came illegally.

"Even if they had to pay fines, even if they had to wait, but if the people have the hope that eventually they're going to become legal, the people are willing to take whatever they need to take to be able to stay legally in this country."

In New Haven, marchers will gather at 10 a.m. at Quinnipiac River Park, Front Street and Grand Avenue. The Hartford march begins at 11 a.m. at the corner of Albany Avenue and Main Street.

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT