Local Immigrants Stand in Solidarity with Nationwide Rallies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/11/06

Local Immigrants Stand in Solidarity with Nationwide Rallies

As people rally around the country on the immigration issue, we spoke with one woman who was among about 1,000 people to turn out in Savannah's Forsyth Park this Sunday, and was at the others in spirit.

She says, basically it boils down to solidarity. People who marched in Savannah say they've got to stick together with immigrants all over.

With American flags, posters and speakers popping up at rallies nationwide, immigrants from the Low Country and Coastal Empire are trying to stand with them.

"If you really come here to work and not to harm anyone or do anything bad, I think you can make your dream come true in America," said Esperanza Ebersole.

Ebersole came to America from Colombia when she was just a teenager. She says she and others like her hope to see new laws coming on the books help make good people legal citizens, instead of throwing up roadblocks.

She's "hoping and praying that the law will be fair for everyone and we can live here happily and we can give back to this country the way this country give back to us."

Ebersole says the near-simultaneous rallies around the country should catch people's attention and can be a powerful statement. "This country was based on immigrants. Everybody came from somewhere. So we just need to stick together and to help each other."

Georgia lawmakers recently passed a sweeping bill denying state benefits like unemployment and non-emergency medical care to adults in the United States illegally. The bill would also withhold tax deductions from companies that knowingly employ illegal immigrants.

The bill will go into effect in July, 2007, if Gov. Sonny Perdue signs it.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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