Rosaliano and nearly 1,000 protesters marched on Thursday in the fifth day of a recreation of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march that led to the Voting Rights Act barring discrimination at the polls. Organizers of the modern march say they are fighting contemporary roadblocks to ballot access, such as Alabama's voter photo ID and immigration laws.
The march will culminate with a rally at noon Friday in front of the Alabama Capitol.
The high school student had the day off from school, so she traveled to Montgomery to participate in the march. She said her parents tried to discourage her from marching, worried she could be arrested and deported.
"The immigration law, since it was brought here to my home state, I decided to do something against it," Rosaliano said. "I tell them, if I want something to be changed, I have to do something as well. I tell them it's not just going to benefit me, it's going to benefit everyone."
Alabama's immigration law requires police to determine citizenship status during traffic stops and requires government offices to verify legal residency for everyday transactions like obtaining license tag for a car, enrolling a child in school, getting a job or renewing a business license.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday struck down provisions barring residents from knowingly entering into contracts with illegal immigrants and outlawing illegal immigrants from doing business with state and local governments.
The roughly 800 marchers stopped for lunch at Macedonia Ministries in Montgomery. They lounged in a field outside, kicking off shoes after the first five-mile leg of the march.
Valdomero Perez, 20, was also prompted into political activism by the immigration law. He moved to Alabama illegally from Guatemala with his family four years ago.
"When the law first passed, someone who I thought was my friend said, 'This law is good because we don't need you here,'" Perez said. "I'm feeling alone here."
He said while friends of his would rather be drinking or clubbing, he felt it was important to march because "I want to help people."
Sophia Bracy Harris, 62, of Montgomery is a veteran of many marches and protests. She said she was marching Thursday just as civil rights protesters marched 47 years ago for a better Alabama and America.
Harris said she thought it was significant so many young people were involved because they would have to live and raise families in the future the protesters are trying to build.
"It's significant they're here because it's about all of us, but more them then me as a 62-year-old," she said. "This is their future we're fighting for."
It was a sentiment shared by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose National Action Network helped to organize the march.
"They realize these are today's issues, not yesterday's issues," Sharpton said. "It's been energizing because it's a new generation with new issues."
Experts say it isn't common to see a lot of young people involved in these types of marches, especially those commemorating the civil rights era.
"To some degree there's not a lot of young blood to take up the mantle," said Wayne Flynt, professor emeritus of history at the University of Auburn. "I think it's the pattern in every generation to sense entitlement to the hard wars fought by their ancestors."