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On MLK Day, Albert Lea Residents Draw Comparisons Between Civil Rights Movement, Immigration

January 21, 2019 10:41 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- On a day dedicated to remembering civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., dozens of Albert Lea residents came together to talk about peace and justice and how those tenets of King's philosophy have taken on new meaning in recent years as the debate over immigration heats up.

"Martin Luther King had a dream. So do we ... of continuing some people our education, some people come here to work," Yudith Balbuena said. 

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Balbuena, whose parents brought her to the United States as a child, sees a number of parallels between King's activism and the larger immigration issue facing the country more than 50 years after his death.

"King spoke up about everyone's rights. I think we should also speak up and let our thoughts be known," she said.

"Martin Luther King, even when he was alive, wrote a letter to Cesar Chavez talking about it really being the one struggle for human dignity," Sara Karki, a staff attorney for the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, said.

Peace and justice, key parts of King's advocacy, are taking on a new life in 2019.

"It's good to reflect on what are human rights, what are their human values and how do we want our America to look," Karki said.

"Equality for everyone, that's the important thing," Balbuena said.  

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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