Sunday, March 10, 2013
WALLA WALLA — Charter buses from Oregon and Washington rolled into town this weekend as part of a nationwide movement on immigration reform.
Close to 150 people, most of them Latinos, rallied at Jefferson Park at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, as part of the Keep Families Together Bus Tour Campaign.
The campaign was sponsored, in part, by OneAmerica and involved approximately 18 buses that toured cities in 19 states.
In Washington, the campaign started Tuesday in Vancouver and continued to Seattle, Wenatchee, Yakima, Tri-Cities and ended Saturday in Walla Walla.
The rally included speakers who shared their immigration experiences and group leaders who encouraged supporters to chant for immigration reform.
“Qué queremos?” (What do we want?)
“Una reforma migratoria.” (Immigration reform)
“Cuándo la queremos?” (When do we want it?)
Oregon tour organizer Amanda Aguilar Shank said there are several goals to the project, but key among them is the development of immigration reform that would allow at least half the estimated 11 million undocumented Latino workers currently residing in the United States to apply for citizenship.
“Every stop we have had along the way there are people joining us,” Aguilar Shank said, describing how people have gotten on the bus to ride one leg of the trip.
The Oregon bus tour also included stops in Idaho, where in Nampa 350 people attended and another 250 in Burley, Aguilar Shank said.
After the bus tour has ended, some participants from the tour will head to Washington D.C. to lobby congressional leaders to implement immigration reform.