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The Nation

Immigrants on 'Freedom Ride' Stop at U.S. Capital

October 02, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of immigrant workers and their supporters rolled into the nation's capital Wednesday, bringing their "freedom ride" for better treatment to the halls of Congress.

They came on 18 buses from Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Miami, Minneapolis and several other cities, with nearly 900 participants representing about 50 countries.

Inspired by the original freedom riders of the 1960s, who boarded buses to protest segregation, the immigrant riders used their bus tour to gain support for legalization of undocumented workers, better working conditions and reforms to hasten the reunification of families.

The immigrants stopped in about 100 cities and towns on their way to Washington, where they were greeted on a cool, fall afternoon with red-white-and-blue balloons and lots of food -- hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and snow cones.

The riders plan to lobby Congress today, then get back aboard buses and head to a rally set for Saturday in New York.

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