More than a thousand people met on the south steps of the state Capitol today to protest HB 1804, one of the toughest immigration laws in the nation.
"This country is not ours, but since we are here, we are going to fight for our rights,” said Isobel Sauceda, an illegal immigrant who came with about 10 other immigrants from work. Some protesters were legal, others were not.
HB 1804 goes into effect today, criminalizing American citizens for harboring, concealing or transporting illegal aliens. The bill also denies illegal immigrants driver's licenses and requires state agencies to verify citizenship before providing people with public services.
It also requires local law enforcement to check the immigration status and coordinate with federal agents to deport all illegal immigrants who commit felonies or are arrested for DUIs.
"I am not afraid of 1804, when I come across the border, I already knew that might be the case,” Sauceda said of the possibility of deportation, "but I came to work, that's the reason I am here. We don't come to hurt anyone.”
Several Hispanic community leaders spoke to the crowd including the Rev.