Immigrants' rights groups call for focus on women

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Sanden Totten/KPCC

Jacqueline Franco holds a sign at an immigrant's rights press conference in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2011. She missed a day of high school to attend the event.

Immigrants' rights supporters in Los Angeles on Tuesday said they plan to focus on issues many people tend to overlook - the concerns of women.

A group called the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition organized the news conference outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown LA. Coalition members said that as they continue to press for change in federal immigration policies, they want to draw attention to the way those policies affect women.

High school senior Jacqueline Franco said many immigrant women share her mother’s story. Franco was born in the United States, but her mother faces deportation because she illegally entered this country from Guatemala.

"I am the daughter of an immigrant and most of my family are immigrants," Franco explained. "I want to fight for the right for us to stay here. They fought for us to grow up here and to have a future here and they have been living here for more than 20 years. I don’t think it’s correct to try to deport us when we made a life here already.”

Franco skipped school to attend the news conference. She and members of the coalition are organizing an April 16 march to call attention to the issues women immigrants face.

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