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Tens of thousands of marchers took to the streets of downtown Portland Monday to protest a proposed federal law that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally. The march, which was accompanied by similar demonstrations in more than 100 cities all over the country, is part of a growing movement that is sweeping the nation.

On Sunday, more than 10,000 people demonstrated against the law on the steps of the state Capitol in Salem, while an estimated 350,000 to 500,000 took to the streets of Dallas, Texas. Nearly 50,000 more marched in San Diego, Calif., the largest city on the U.S.-Mexico border.

In Los Angeles the previous weekend, more than 500,000 people walked downtown streets.

In Portland on Monday, marchers waved Mexican and American flags and wore white T-shirts to indicate their solidarity. Many carried signs bearing the images of Cesar Chavez, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.


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House bill would criminalize illegals; Senate aims for citizenship

LOS ANGELES—More than half a million immigration advocates marched though downtown Los Angeles Saturday in one of the largest demonstrations for any cause in recent U.S. history.

The march — duplicated in communities across the country — was one act in a national drama centering on the issue of illegal immigration that has unfolded over the past week.


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Ballot measure would deny benefits to any unlawful immigrants

OLYMPIA—A group has filed an initiative to deny illegal immigrants public benefits, like free prenatal care for poor women or subsidized child care for seasonal workers.

Protect Washington Now, headed by Mercer Island resident Bob Baker, needs to collect nearly 225,000 valid voter signatures by July 7 for the measure to make the November ballot.

It would require state employees to verify the immigration status of anyone seeking benefits not mandated by federal law, such as emergency medical care, and to report suspected illegal immigrants to federal authorities.

The state has an estimated 136,000 illegal immigrants, though officials say they don't know how many use the handful of programs administered by the Department of Social and Health Services.


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Urban planning and a politicaldebate between two candidates running for  chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners are on the City Club's agenda for the next two Friday luncheons.


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Community can still weigh in on how to close fiscal holes

There are a few more opportunities for residents to discuss the Portland Public Schools budget, which may call for the closure of some schools and the re-creation of kindergarten-through-eighth-grade schools.


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New television show provides forum for youth to speak on issues

A new local television show is taking the issues that impact today's youth — at home, in school, on the streets and in the media — and bringing them into your living room. And it's doing it in real time — live, without a net.


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Portland residents who want a say in how their taxes are spent can attend a community budget forum on Saturday, April 8.


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CORVALLIS—Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of America's best-known civil rights leader, will visit Oregon next month.

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