WALLA WALLA -- Thousands of state residents, including people from Walla Walla, are expected to gather Saturday in Seattle in support of immigration reform. Buses will leave various cities in eastern Washington early Saturday destined for Seattle's Occidental Park in Pioneer Square, with the rally kicking off at noon. The agency OneAmerica is coordinating the bus departures, and has been working to gather interested residents throughout the states.
For resident who haven't already signed up to ride on one of the buses, organizers are encouraging people to carpool or drive to Seattle for what is being marked as a national day of calling for immigration reform. Interested Walla Walla residents can contact Ulises Gonzalez at 509-301-0579 to learn about possible open slots on a bus. Gonzalez said there are so far more than 100 people from Walla Walla signed up to travel together to Seattle.
The Seattle rally is organized by the Washington Immigration Reform Coalition. It's leaders and members are following momentum gained from recently passed health care legislation to send a message to lawmakers that the country needs to reform its immigration laws. Those is support of an immigration overhaul are hoping for some action by the end of the year.
The Seattle rally, called the National Day of Action on immigration, is being advertised as one of the three biggest in the country coordinated for April 10.
Speakers for the rally include people who have been impacted negatively by current immigration laws, like families that have been separated through deportation, or long-time U.S. residents who are denied college and career options.