SALT LAKE CITY -- A group of political activists is planning to march on the Capitol building Saturday in support of immigration reform.
The group, United for Social Justice, will meet at 1 p.m. at the Salt Lake City and County Building, 400 S. State St.
Speaking will be the Rev. Steve Klemz from Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, activist Archie Archuleta and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.
Utah artist Ruby Chacon, Westminster College student Nadia Acosta and Salt Lake City resident Veronica Galindo are also in the lineup.
"I've always been a strong advocate for immigration reform and deeply lament the direction our Legislature has taken on these bills," Klemz said.
"I believe the powers that be are creating a culture of fear, which is directly opposite of faith."
Organizers say United for Social Justice is a racially and religiously diverse coalition of Utah organizations seeking to create awareness of the injustices facing underrepresented communities.
The purpose of the march is to advocate humane immigration reform and oppose any Arizona-style immigration laws, such as House Bill 70 proposed by Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem.
"I never lived in a state where in every legislative session they attack the underrepresented and working class," said group member Melodia Gutierrez.
"They don't focus on making things better; they focus on taking things away from working families."
In addition to immigration, bills in the Utah Legislature to increase the food tax, remove affirmative action provisions and provide less money for schools bother Gutierrez and fellow group members.
But the long list of immigration bills particularly concerns her.
Gutierrez, a Texas native, said her grandfather first came into the United States by crossing the river illegally. The experience shaped her family for the rest of their lives.
Now a student at the University of Utah, Gutierrez said she and other members of United for Social Justice work to provide information to members of the Legislature.
Right-wing groups such as UFIRE, the Eagle Forum and the Utah Minutemen are consistently at the Legislature, showing their support for anti-immigrant legislation, she said. The group tries to offer a bit of balance.
"They really only hear one side of the story," Gutierrez said, "so we are working to let them know our side of the story."
Organizers hope the march serves as a peaceful way to show support for immigrants and gives people a venue to have their voices heard, as well as providing a political outlet.
"We can't just stay silent any more. The more we stay silent, the more the Legislature is going to continue to do this," Gutierrez said.
"If we stay silent, we are just going to enable a flawed system."