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While Congress squabbles, immigration activists push for reform

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After a week sure to focus on ongoing budget battles, the start of Obamacare and the conflict in Syria among other issues, proponents of immigration reform across the country will demonstrate to keep attention on the movement for legislative change. Information about events nationwide is at www.OctoberImmigration.org.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, a coalition of immigration advocacy groups will present Immigration: The Life Game, an interactive look at the realities of the current immigration system. Many opponents of reform insist that existing laws are sufficient to meet the needs of 21st century America, yet leaders from across the political spectrum agree that change is needed. Participants in the game will experience the current immigration system by following storylines inspired by true immigrant stories.

The event will be held at the old Citicenter Bus Station (4th and Center in downtown Reno) starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Participants will travel among stations representing key elements of the immigration system in the hope of achieving Permanent Resident status and eventually U.S. citizenship. As each story progresses participants will be exposed to the unfolding of a true-to- life immigration story as well as to facts about deportations, family separation and the complexity of paths to lawful status.

Immigration: The Life Game will highlight little-known facts such as: deportations under the current administration have held steady at record levels of 400,000 per year; immigration court dockets are backlogged by tens of months; wait times for family-based visas are commonly in excess of ten years with peaks of more than 23 years; and in most cases the undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens cannot achieve lawful status without first departing the country and triggering a ten-year punishment.

What: Life-sized board game drawn from real immigration stories and facts about the current laws.

Who: Mi Familia Vota, Justice for Immigrants, Ahora Latino Journal, Immigration Reform Nevada, UNR Latino Student Advisory Board, ACLU of Nevada, PLAN and American Families United.

When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Where: Citi Center (corner of 4th and Center streets)

Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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