Hundreds gather for immigration rally in Salem - KPTV - FOX 12

Hundreds gather for immigration rally in Salem

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

With just six days left until Republican Donald Trump takes office, hundreds gathered in Salem Saturday to show solidarity and call on lawmakers to protect legal and illegal immigrants.

About 1,000 people from all walks of life held signs and listened as speakers and lawmakers spoke.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden was one of the many speakers who told the crowd he will fight for no religious registries, no walls.

"Your fight will be my fight," he said.

Among those in the crowd was Brittany Rupea. She said she has seen the immigration system first hand.

Rupea’s grandmother came to the U.S. in the 1970s to escape and abusive marriage. Both her father and uncle were sent back to Canada a decade ago.

"She took her three kids and came down, and she met who I call grandpa who raised the children and they lived here for 35 years before they were deported," she explained.

Rupea believes the U.S. immigration system is broken and families need to be kept together. 

"It was really hard in the beginning," Rupea said. "I travel to Canada at least twice a year to see my father. My daughter who is three met him for the first time this past October."

Marcola resident Ellen Furstner has a similar story. She immigrated to the U.S. decades ago and is calling of state leaders to help illegal and legal immigrants.

"I was born after World War II, and I was just talking with my mom and she was talking about people, Jews being rounded up when she was a little girl,” she said. "I am scared of what is going to happen in the next four years."

Opponents argue that the current laws need to be enforced and that if someone want to be in the U.S. they need to do so legally.

For many of those gathered in Salem, though, say it is not that easy, and with Trump being sworn into office in less than a week, they are anxious to find answers.

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