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listen to the speaker at the educational rally on Thursday about the proposed HR 4437. Photos by Sarah Hale | For the Tidings Impromptu immigration protest at SOU shows passion for issue By Alan Panebaker Ashland Daily T

Impromptu immigration protest at SOU shows passion for issue

— — Student Daneille Mancuso shows her support at the — rally on Thursday at Southern Oregon University with other students speaking — out against HR 4437

Emotions flared midday Thursday at Southern Oregon University&

s Stevenson Union courtyard as students and faculty turned out to protest immigration reforms and house bill HR 4437

&

I wish this country would make sensible immigration reform,&

said Erika Ochoa, director for multicultural affairs for the Associated Students of Southern Oregon University &

I stand here to tell you guys to fight They (undocumented workers) don&

t have a voice You do&

Nearly 100 people showed up to recognize the rights of undocumented workers and try to learn more about the proposed bill However, the event turned from a pep rally into an all-out yelling match at times as individuals openly discussed the issue

Frustrations over race relations in the country also arose from the rally

&

Why aren&

t we dealing with the fact of how racist this situation is,&

Matthew Reynolds, a graduate student at SOU, said &

We&

re only talking about illegal aliens coming from south of the border&

HR 4437 was passed by the US House of Representatives Dec 16, 2005 Currently, an ammended version of the bill is stalemated in the Senate

The Senate bill, which President Bush has backed according to an April 11 Washington Post article, would provide a path for undocumented workers to gain work visas and eventual citizenship The controversy surrounding this bill has triggered nationwide protests and a more outspoken Latino community that was previously quiet

As tempers raged in the Stevenson Union courtyard, Kelly Davis &

a junior studying human communications at SOU &

stood in the back with his friends and watched the drama

&

I kind of wished they raised more awareness,&

Davis said While he showed up to showcase his opposition to the bill, Davis said he sees a hypocrisy in the United States imposing stricter regulations on illegal immigrants

&

Look at our nation,&

Davis said &

What&

s it built on? Immigration&

— — Students speak out against the propsed HR 4437 Thursday — at Southern Oregon University

Monique Teal, who spearheaded the event organizing, said she was just happy to see so many people come out to showcase an interest in the issue

&

This is incredible for just 24 hours notice,&

Teal said &

All we wanted was for people to care&

Since Thursday&

s event turned into more of a debate than an informative presentation, Ochoa and Teal are working with other members of ASSOU to organize a debate for next week

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