Illegal immigrants shape debate through activism - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Illegal immigrants shape debate through activism

PHOENIX (AP) -

Families, young people and students who would benefit from immigration reform are trying to shape the process by holding marches, sit-ins and lobbying state and national lawmakers.

The pro-immigration reform movement has grown wildly in recent years, with people once afraid to admit they didn't have legal status now successfully rallying for driver's licenses, work visas and other benefits. Their actions are styled after the farm workers movement organized by Cesar Chavez and other civil rights movements.

In Arizona, illegal immigrants have been particularly active in shaping public policy and sentiment because of the state's harsh anti-immigrant laws.

They plan to pull weeds and paint over graffiti near the Arizona Capitol Monday in honor of Cesar Chavez Day and to draw attention to their cause.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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