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'We are asking you nicely to go home'

May 1, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dozens of counter protesters were on hand in Brea to send a loud message to illegal immigrants on Thursday.Dozens marched on the streets of Santa Ana in support of immigrant rights. About 100 people turned out, which is only a fraction of those who attended last year.

Click in the Eyewitness News story window above to watch Eileen Frere's report.

"Last year what happened in L.A. it probably scared a lot of people on L.A.," said Josue Sanchez, an immigrant rights supporter.

Whatever the reason for the lower turnout the cause remains the same.

"I want to say better opportunities for everybody," said Gabriela Hernandez, an undocumented immigrant.

Eyewitness News reporter Eileen Frere: "Some might argue though that if you are here illegally why should you have those rights?"

"Because I am a human and I am a good person. And I am hard working," answered Hernandez.

Gabriela Hernandez came to Orange County from Mexico three years ago. She cleans tables and attends college.

"I am hoping for amnesty," said Hernandez.

About ten miles away there were more than a dozen counter protesters. They were holding American flags above the 57 Freeway overpass in Brea.

"Illegal aliens have the audacity to march in our streets. We are here to say, 'You might march in them, but you have no right to march in them.' We are asking you nicely to go home," said Minuteman Project member Lupe Moreno.

Lupe Moreno's parents were immigrants. She and the others Thursday said that if undocumented people don't leave on their own they wish the government would deport them.

"Don't give them a free pass just because they need a better life. I need a better life too," said Minuteman Project member Jim Ibbotson.

About 165 police officers were on hand for the event.


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