May Day March in the Valley
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People here in the valley joined other parts of the country Saturday in rallying for immigration reform.
Annual May Day events took on a new meaning this year as the controversy continues over Arizona's new immigration policy.
More than 1,000 people marched through downtown Fresno Saturday demanding immigration reform and protesting Arizona's immigration law. "I don't like it. I think it's too racist and especially, you're setting us apart from everyone else."
The crowd was met with some opposition by people who support the new legislation. It gives law enforcement the authority to question someone they believe might be an illegal immigrant.
Rebecca Gervasi of Porterville stood with a small group on the corner of Fresno and N Street as the rowdy crowd tried to block their signs.
Fresno police eventually separated the two groups. "There have been a lot of murders and kidnappings occurring in Arizona and we need our state's borders protected and we believe the governor had a right to do what she did."
Making their way back towards Eaton plaza, the large crowd listened to speakers, waved American flags and cheered in unison. "Today we must demand once and for all respect for all, with or without documents."
This isn't the first May Day event in Fresno but many here hope it will be the last. They want Arizona to repeal their new law and are urging president Obama to make sweeping changes soon.
"It is up to us, those who are legalized, who now citizens are contributing in all ways to society to speak up for those who don't have a voice."
Several police officers were on hand Saturday. But, no reports of any incidents.
As for the immigration law, on Friday, Arizona's governor made changes to it.
Police can only stop a suspected illegal immigrant while enforcing some other law, and not just because they think that person is in the state illegally.
fresno, immigration reform, local, shannon handy
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