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'I'm one of them': Mia, 9, marches on May Day

Perhaps it was fear of immigration authorities that kept the crowds smaller than usual this year at Seattle’s May Day march for immigrant and worker rights.

Still, hundreds of families, immigrants and advocates filled the streets in downtown Seattle, waving homemade signs and banging drums. 

This is the 19th year organizers have led this march through Seattle, calling for immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

This year, organizers also aimed a special criticism at the Washington State Department of Licensing for providing information about local residents to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Here’s what a few young, first-time marchers had to say at this year's May Day event:

Mia Ramirez, 9, from Kent

KUOW: “Why do you want to be here today for this march?”

Ramirez: “Because I’m one of them.”

[asset-images[{"caption": "Mia Martinez, 9, from Kent, WA joined the May Day march in Seattle.", "fid": "144374", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201805/P1090899_0.JPG", "attribution": "Credit KUOW/Liz Jones"}]]KUOW: “What do you mean you’re one of them?”

Ramirez: “I don’t want hate around here. I want love.”

KUOW: “Do you see immigration issues affecting your life?”

Ramirez: “Yeah.”

KUOW: “In what way?”

Ramirez: “Well, I don’t really want to say it because ... it just sounds too hurtful to say it.”

KUOW: “If this march can change something for immigrants, what do you want it to be?”

Ramirez: “That they get loved the same way everyone does. Like, they don’t get treated wrong.”

[asset-images[{"caption": "Alexis (left) and Andrea Barron, from Kent, join the annual May Day march in Seattle.", "fid": "144375", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201805/P1090895.JPG", "attribution": "Credit KUOW/Liz Jones"}]]Alexis Barron, 9, and her mom Andrea - from Kent, WA

Alexis: “My friends and family are Hispanic and I want to be here…”

Mom, whispering: “Because it’s important.”

Alexis: “Because it’s important.” 

Mom: “It’s important for her to know the traditions we carry on in our family. And being Hispanic we take it seriously. These are our friends and families. We need to stand united.”

Alexis: “It’s pretty cool to see everyone doing this.”

[asset-images[{"caption": "Rubi Celi Gomez (left), 19, Seattle.", "fid": "144376", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201805/P1090898.JPG", "attribution": "Credit KUOW/Liz Jones"}]]Rubi Celi Gomez, 19, Seattle 

“I think it important because we need to represent our families who can’t be out here. And we need to let people know we’re here — Latinos are here — and we contribute to the country. 

"I’ve seen how all the regulations and laws from the current administration are affecting our families and communities. 

"People are suffering. You’re playing with people’s lives, and that’s not OK to me.

"There’s a lot of misconception that we want a lot of privileges in this country. We just want to be treated as equally as everybody else.”