Thousands protest in Barcelona in favor of the wealthy Catalonia region breaking off from the rest of Spain.
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immigrants in quest to split from SpainPOLINYA, Spain: In a community hall in the Spanish region of Catalonia, two independence activists take the stage against a backdrop of red and yellow striped Catalan flags: a Syrian-born tourist guide and a Spanish member of Parliament born in Uruguay. Campaigners are even encouraging migrants without the right to vote to ask workmates and friends to vote for independence and are advocating Catalan nationality for all migrants living in the region if it leaves Spain.A majority of Catalans want to hold a referendum, polls show, with those in favor of a united Spain slightly in the lead.Carles Puigdemont, the pro-independence regional governor, said in a televised debate in January that he supported giving Catalan nationality to migrants living in the region, although he said that would ultimately be decided when a constitution for the proposed new country was drawn up.The Catalan regional government has worked to integrate migrants by providing free health care and education even to illegal immigrants registered as living in Catalonia.
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