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Counter- protesters: It's not a racial thing

Published April 10, 2006 12:51 am

Utah Minuteman Project: Illegal-immigration foes join rally; 'no amnesty,' they chant
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Benjamin Lowe says he has seen friends lose their construction jobs to illegal immigrants who work for lower wages, and he wants the federal and state governments to do something about it.

"My representatives are blind to supporting my interests," he said.

The Provo resident was one of about 200 illegal-immigration foes, organized by Utah Minuteman Project Chairman Alex Segura, who rallied Sunday afternoon at the Salt Lake City-County Building to counter a massive immigrant-rights rally.

Lowe and his friend Scott Rees, of American Fork, said they aren't against immigration - only illegal immigration, which they say is getting out of control in the United States.

"This isn't a racial issue," Rees said. "It doesn't matter where you're from. I have nothing against Mexicans."

The opponents of illegal immigration carried signs at Sunday's rally that read "No amnesty, no guest worker citizenship," "Illegals are welcome when they use [the] door my family used," "Go home then get a visa," and "Seal our borders now."

As they marched to the Capitol - about an hour before the immigrant supporters stepped off on the same route - the group chanted, "One flag, one country," "No amnesty" and "America not Mexico."

Most members of the group were men, but there were women and children, too.

"We've been trying to wake up people to the crisis," Salt Lake City resident Colleen Henderson said. "They're not just taking jobs we don't want, they'll take any job."

Many in the group called for the ouster of Utah's Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Chris Cannon for not doing more to protect the rights of Utah's legal citizens.

"It's a beautiful day to stick up for your country," Segura said.





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