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Oklahoma City group rallies for immigrant youths

A handful of students rallied above a bridge near SW 29 and Interstate 44 Thursday, waving a banner that read, “Dream Act OKC #RightToDream.” Participants are asking U.S. government to give a pathway to citizenship for those qualified under the Dream Act.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: May 18, 2012

Several young adults waved a banner over Interstate 44 on the city's south side Thursday, part of a national push on behalf of young illegal immigrants.

Though the rally showing was meager, those involved enthusiastically gave thumbs up and cheered as hundreds of vehicles passed beneath the bridge spanning the highway near SW 29.

Participants in seven other states and in Tulsa launched a campaign calling on the president to give relief to immigrant youths who would qualify under the Dream Act, a bill stalled in Congress that would provide a path to citizenship for qualifying illegal immigrants who graduate from a U.S. high school and attend college or serve in the military.

Passers-by honked horns. Some flipped their middle fingers at the group.

“There's not many people here today,” said Judith Huerta, a recent Oklahoma City University graduate. “But we're getting somewhere, even if they're just honking.”

‘Part of the fabric'

Opponents of the Dream Act say providing undocumented students with a pathway to citizenship or making it easier for them to attend college infringes on citizens' opportunities and acts as an incentive for people to overstay their visas or to enter the country without authorization.

Fredy Valencia, another member in the rally group, disagreed. He said the incentive to come here is largely economic.

“This is about the people who are already here, who've lived here, and are a part of the fabric here,” Valencia said.

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