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News

Pro-immigration rally set for NIU on Monday

DeKALB - Area residents on Monday can show their support for immigration reform along with thousands expected to demonstrate throughout the country. Locally, Northern Illinois University students will host a pro-immigration rally at 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Commons on Normal Road in front of the Founders' Memorial Library. The event is to educate the community about immigration laws, said student organizer Ulysses Diaz. &#8220We thought it'd be better to educate about the good bills (supporting immigration reform) that have been brought up through the Senate than to bash on the bills (such as HR 4437) that are being revised and changed,” the freshman sociology major said. The rally, sponsored by the Organization of Latin American Students, is part of the nationwide push for immigration reform which has gained momentum as Congress works on laws about border security and giving current undocumented immigrants an opportunity to become citizens. A proposed federal law would make being an illegal immigrant a felony. The Associated Press reports that around 200 organizations are expected to participate in Monday's demonstration in Chicago. They include Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups like the Pan-African Association and the Arab American Action Network. A similar rally in March drew 100,000 people, organizers say they expect 500,000 on Monday. Kristin Kumpf, a suburban organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, is one of the people expected to speak at Monday's rally, which will be followed by a march around campus. Kumpf said she is working with the Latino students at the university who wanted to do something as part of Monday's day of action. Diaz said fliers have been distributed to invite anyone in the community to attend the event. &#8220In general there was a lot of talk about should people go to Chicago or stay in DeKalb, not everybody can go (to Chicago),” Kumpf said. Kumpf said Monday's NIU rally is important because it is in Speaker Dennis Hastert's district. &#8220It's in the heart of his congressional district and he has a huge role to play,” she said. &#8220It's our responsibility to make our voices heard. This is a great thing to have right in his backyard.” But those who can take a day off of work to attend the Chicago march will have an opportunity to board one of at least four chartered buses. Local businesses, including Burritoville, 1026 W. Hillcrest Drive, Reyna's Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, 149 S. Third St., and Taxco Mexican Restaurant, 223 W. State St., in Sycamore, are sponsoring the buses. The buses leave Monday at 8 a.m. and the cost is $10, said Maria Caudillo owner of Reyna's. Caudillo said she expects more people to sign up for the bus trips today. Reservations can be made at any of the sponsoring businesses or interested persons can show up before 8 a.m. Monday morning at the municipal parking lot on Third Street in front of her shop to board a bus. The buses are expected to leave at 8 a.m. Caudillo said many of DeKalb's Hispanic owned businesses will be closed so employees can attend Monday's march in Chicago. Aracely Hernandez can be reached at ahernandez@daily-chronicle.com

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