Anti-immigration protest gathers at state capitol

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By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler

PHOENIX -- A number of protesters gathered at the state capitol to protest potentially giving unauthorized immigrants legal status in the United States and to demand government action in stopping the flow of migrants into the country.

The protest is among a number of reactions to the thousands of migrant children at the border in recent months. While some groups have called the problem a humanitarian crisis, protest or Tim Rafferty does not see immigration as an emotional topic.

"The United States should not feel all sorry and teary-eyed for these children," Rafferty said. "This is an issue that needs to be resolved and it's not a sad issue."

The group organizing the protest calls itself the "Remember 1986 Coalition." 1986 was the year President Ronald Reagan decided to grant amnesty for a number of immigrants in the nation illegally. The protesters want to make sure Arizona's politicians don't make the same decision Reagan did.

"We have three congressmen here, from Arizona, that state that they want to normalize the legal status of the illegals that are here," Rafferty said. "That's amnesty.  And we do not want amnesty."

While the protest was smaller than some protests at the capitol in the past, the group drew enough attention for a counter-protest led by self-described anarchists to form.