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Local Immigration Activists Urge President To Stop Deportations

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Protesters line up in front of the White House, preparing to sit down; they were later arrested.
Asma Khalid
Protesters line up in front of the White House, preparing to sit down; they were later arrested.

By Asma Khalid

Fear over Arizona’s controversial new immigration law is trickling into the district. Activists here in D.C. want the President to stop deportations.

About 40 protesters, including Rep. Luis Gutierez (D-Ill.), were arrested Saturday afternoon in front of the White House; they were demanding immigration reform. So are a lot of students, like Pamela Salazar, a junior at Temple University in Philadelphia. She wants the government to help undocumented students.

"Once they graduate from high school, they’re stuck," she says. "They don’t know what to do. Just like I was too at one point because I’m also undocumented."

Felipe Matos agrees. Matos is one of four students who walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington to meet with President Obama.

"We still have lots of people who are getting deported," he says. "We still have students like us being detained, and it’s about time to change."

So far, he’s only been offered a meeting with Presidential adviser Valerie Jarret, but Matos says he wants to speak directly with the President.

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