Vigil held to protect illegal immigrants

DURHAM At a prayer vigil Wednesday night, immigrant families and church members talked about the need for immigration reform. They want a new federal law that would allow immigrants to stay in the country.

"Our immigrant community is really living in a state of fear and chaos," Beth Brockman with the First Presbyterian Church said. "I'm here to pray for the protection of our immigrant brothers and sisters, I'm also here to pray for immigration reform."

Church and community members are calling on Congress and President Barack Obama to pass humane immigration reform giving everyone equal opportunity to live and learn in this country.

"I see the effects as a teacher in the Durham Public schools, I see children whose parents who have been deported and all the aftermath of that," said Martha Ramirez with Inglesia Presbiteriana Emanuel.

"Children not showing up for school because they're parents are scared they might be separated if there happens to be a raid in their workplace," Brockman added.

The prayer vigil is happening nationwide as a part of a movement on immigration reform in over 100 cities.

"I think we should allow for larger numbers of people to legally immigrate and also to allow to paths for legal citizenship for those who are already here," Ramirez said.

They hope these flames cast light on a crisis and their prayers bring peace to all of these people.

They also want to see changes to policy that would allow students already in the school system to go on to college to be able to enroll without proving legal citizenship.

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