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Virginia Neighborhood Calls For Immigration Reform

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More than 200 Alexandria residents turned out in the rain to press for immigration reform.
Elliott Francis
More than 200 Alexandria residents turned out in the rain to press for immigration reform.

By Elliott Francis

Four Latino students who walked all the way from Florida with a petition calling for immigration reform are due to arrive soon in Washington. They received a warm welcome as they passed through Northern Virginia.

Meanwhile, a strip mall parking lot in Alexandria's Chirilagua neighborhood just off Mt. Vernon Avenue is the latest venue for the discussion about immigration reform.

More than 200 residents gathered here to welcome the Trail of Dreams Marchers: four college kids from Miami who walked 1500 miles to draw attention to the need for federal reform.

Neighborhood resident Natalie Fani came here in the rain to listen and add her voice. She says although she's not sure about the solution to the immigration question, there's only one source for the answer.

"We need the federal government to take action. Immigration is one of those issues that the federal government has neglected for years," says Fani.

Juan Castillo lives just around the corner. He says he's concerned that laws like the one now in effect in Arizona could be duplicated here in Virginia.

"We have to stick together, we have to keep fighting for this because if we don't it's going to spread to other states and tear families apart," says Castillo.

Later, Fani added her name to the petition which supports a comprehensive federal solution to immigration reform. She hopes it gets the attention of congress.

"We have to be moving forward. If there is a law that says you're a criminal if you're a Latino, that's wrong," she says.

On Wednesday, the four students plan to complete their walk at the White House, and urge the President to act quickly on the matter of immigration reform.

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