THE GREAT DIVIDE: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ON ONE DAY : IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ACTIVIST

NAME: Nativo Vigil Lopez

AGE: 43

WORK: Co-national director of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, an immigrant rights group.

HOME: Santa Ana

IMMIGRATION STATUS: Seventh-generation American. His ancestors lived in the portion of Mexico that later became the Southwestern United States.

"Immigrants are good for America. They always have been. America is a nation of immigrants, was built by immigrants, and continues to be shaped in cultural and linguistic diversity which makes the great nation a people that we are. Whether undocumented or legal, immigrants contribute more to our country than they receive in social benefits. This is a proven, undeniable fact of life.

"The current immigrant bashing is a symptom of weak economic times and poor political leadership . . .

"Mexican immigration to this country has historical roots, extended family ties, profound economic causes, and therefore will not be easily deterred."

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