Hundreds march through Portland for immigrant rights

Hundreds march through Portland for immigrant rights

PORTLAND, Ore. – Hundreds of marchers took to the streets to speak out for immigrant rights in downtown Portland Saturday.

The march was the first of 2 planned for Saturday. Marchers planned another for downtown at 7:00 p.m.

The D17 March, short for Dec. 17, brought in several hundred people to walk through downtown Portland. The Occupy Portland movement helped promote the march.

Many said immigrants deserve rights whether they are U.S. citizens or not.

“Members of our society are caught up in the deportation process for very petty, minor crimes like a broken tail light,” said Sindy Avila, with the N.W. Immigrant Youth Alliance.

Other marchers said they want U.S. policies that encourage people to flee Mexico changed.

“The U.S. backed drug war in Mexico do forces people across the border,” said march organizer Megan Hise. “They’ve destroyed communities in Mexico and Central America, and then once immigrants get here, they’re criminalized for trying to feed their families. This is unacceptable.”

Portland police officers monitored the march and stopped traffic for it. Organizers cooperated with police and told them the exact route they planned to take through downtown.