Tallahassee Immigrants Voice Concern

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

"We work; we pay bills; we just try to have better life."

Myrna Portillo is from El Salvador. She's been a U.S. citizen for six years now, but Monday instead of marching with her family for immigration rights, she's meeting with an attorney, fighting to keep her brother in the United States.

She said she fights prejudice from people who think she is an illegal.

Myrna said, "It's so difficult, we have feelings, we are just like everybody else."

Neil St. John Rambana, an immigration attorney, said, "The economic situation abroad is extremely difficult and a lot of people are coming here because they know that they can realize the American dream."

Rambana says he supports the bill moving through the U.S. Senate. Without it his family may never have been able to stay in the U.S., and while these immigrants work hard to live the American dream, all of them say their hearts go out to the immigrants marching for unity.

Maria Sarintos, A U.S. citizen for 11 years, said, "Did I want to take part in the walk? Of course I want because I am Spanish. I know what they're feeling."

And even though this family says life is hard in the United States, they all said they'd rather be here than in El Salvador.

Maria said the problem for legal immigrants is that they have so many family members who also want to emigrate to the U.S.

Three of Gadsden County's schools had absences of more than 100 students at each school. Those schools have a heavy population of immigrants, but there's no way to tell if all the vacancies were due to the boycott.


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