Immigration Reform March Planned - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Immigration Reform March Planned

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By Alex Schuman

aschuman@myabc5.com

@alexschuman

Iowans in favor of immigration reform plan on marching from the 1500 block of East Grand Ave. to the 800 block of East Scott Ave. in Des Moines this Saturday.

The march will start at 1 p.m. and end at 3 p.m.

20 groups signed up to sponsor the march, but not all who want change agree on what the changes should be made.

The one idea repeated several times by the Latinos Unidos of Iowa, American Friends Services Committee, and local business owners was streamlining the path to citizenship.

"People in other world countries think the U.S. is a paradise and everybody wants to come here," said Juan Rodriguez, Diversity Insurance owner. "So I had that impression and I came here, and it is.  It is a paradise."

Rodriguez moved to the U.S. from Columbia back in 2003. It took him 12 years for his visa to be approved.

"I really [lost] hope," he said.

He did not even know people illegally entered the country until after he came to the U.S. Rodriguez eventually started an insurance company, and now also owns a radio station. 

He plans on walking this Saturday in the march along with many people from the Latino community.

"If we want to maintain some kind of economic base, we need immigrants in our communities," said Kathleen McQuillen, American Friends Services Committee. "Businesses are starting up where they have more diversity.  We need to buy into that." 

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