FRANKFORT — The people at the center of Kentucky's immigration debate — Hispanic workers — rallied on the Capitol steps Tuesday against Senate Bill 6, which would create state crimes for illegal immigrants and those who harbor or transport them.
In English and Spanish, speakers told the crowd of several hundred that those who come to Kentucky to work have basic human rights and should not be harassed or ashamed. They chanted "Si, se puede," which translates roughly as, "Yes, it can be done." Several talked about coming to the United States from their home countries.
"Twenty-seven years ago I was living in extreme poverty, which caused me at age 15 to make a decision to leave my family in search of a better life," said Carlos Rico, a member of Laborers International Union in Louisville, who added that he and his family won legal residency in 1989 through an amnesty program.
"Thank the Lord, I accomplished my goal," Rico said. "In 27 years living in this country, I have worked in the fields picking vegetables. I have worked in the city building bridges and roads."
Signs in the crowd included "Shame on Kentucky" and "Don't break up my family over papers."
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