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Hundreds Rally For Immigration Reform

Hundreds of people rallied at Ohio State University at noon Monday in support of the immigrant boycott while several dozen others assembled on the west side of Columbus.

Several dozen mostly young men and women - some with small children -- rallied at a Mexican business on the west side of Columbus. An older couple stood in the crowd holding a large American flag between them. Wendy Martinez, a Columbus native, was there with her husband Alfredo.

For a person to apply and come here legally, the government makes it almost impossible. And that's why persons are left as a last resort to try to cross the border to come, out of fear of no food or clothes or homes for their families.

At about the same time, a larger crowd of about 200 rallied on the Ohio State University Oval. In the group was a man in his 20s who said he's in the United States illegally. He said he told his boss he would not be at work Monday painting houses. By not working, eating out, or shopping, he says Americans can judge for themselves if immigrant workers are important.

We're looking for a better life for us and for our families. You know that's why we're coming here. And that is why we try to stop today - don't buy it, don't eat, don't work. Then the American people can see if we're important or not to the USA.

Isabel Gonzalez, a first-year Ohio State student, asked members of the crowd to sign a petition opposing the deportation of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants now in the U-S. It also calls on Congress to fix what it describes as a broken immigration system.

And it says this: I believe that Congress should pass real, fair and comprehensive immigration reform that respects my values of fairness, hard work and family.

These people who support immigration reform hope that people in the U.S. illegally will eventually be able to live and work freely.

I really love this country. And that is why I want to stay here. I want t make it legal legal in this country. I can stay here. If the country helps me I can help the country. That's what I say. I love America the United States.

One estimate says that as many as 60,000 undocumented workers contribute to Central Ohio's economy.