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North Carolina group tries to curb negativity around immigration

Imagine being constantly talked about in the news. Every time you turn on the TV someone is saying something about you. It is sometimes positive, but many times you are called illegal. The debate isn't whether you are a good person or someone who wants to be active in the community. The immigration debate seems to have had a constant focus on the use of the word illegal and mainly on how immigrants enter the country, not on how they contribute to the community.

A new campaign across North Carolina is aiming to rid the state of negativity associated with immigration. Hoping to turn the tone of the debate on immigration more positive, over 250 religious and community members have donated money for billboards across the state. The billboards feature a Hispanic father with two children, as well as a Muslim family from Asia, encouraging people to see immigration in a new light.

Many of the supporters of the billboards hope North Carolina doesn't start taking extreme anti-immigration actions, such as some other states. The purpose of the campaign is to project a more positive image of immigrants, not to be overtly political. It hopes to get people to see immigrants as their neighbors, not invaders, as they are sometimes portrayed in the media.

It is important to support your neighbors as active positive members of the American community. Immigrating to the United States has many challenges. Obtaining U.S. citizenship can have just as many challenges. Having positive representation for immigrants is important in helping people understand that they are hard working, respected members of our community.

Source: Fox News Latino, "Billboards show the human face of immigration," Dec. 13, 2011

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