"Day Without an Immigrant"

By: Jessica Aspiras
By: Jessica Aspiras

"It's time for Latinos to come out of the shadows and take a rightful place in society just like every other immigrant group has in this great country."

Father Fred Thelen isn't exactly Latino. He's german. But that doesn't mean he doesn't understand their plight. He's been the leader of Cristo Rey Church in Lansing for 13 years. And his congregation is 95% Latino.

"We have a situation now where there's a lot of people here who have crossed to work and contribute to society and we need to really find them a good path to legal citizenship."

So his congregation along with other Latino organizations around the country will be protesting in a national event called the "Great American Boycott" or "Day Without an Immigrant."

"For us it will be very significant, the fact that people are coming out and just saying we're here. We want to contribute to society."

The nationwide rally is the latest attempt for immigration reform. During the past several weeks there have been other marches across the U.S., supporting the 12 million Latin American illegals working in this country.

Rudy Reyes is a Lansing native. His grandparents came to the states from Mexico. And he says the rally will open the eyes of people in Lansing and all over the country.

"You got immigrants who are taking jobs at .50 cents and $1.00, cutting grass, doing all the crappy jobs that nobody else wants to do. All of these cities that have a lot of immigrants in them, take them out. Then who does the jobs? Who will do those jobs for a day? A week?

But for now boycotting is the only thing the nation's Latin Americans can do. Because it's still up to the folks in Washington as to the fate of immigration.


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