LANCASTER – As part of the National Day of Action on Wednesday, thousands of immigrant-rights activists participated in marches and rallies throughout the country to advocate for immigration reform.
Locally, activists of all ages gathered in front of Antelope Valley College Wednesday afternoon to add their voices to the chorus for immigration reform.
The gathering of about two dozen chanted “No more deportation!” and “Humane reform now!” as many passing motorists honked their horns in support.
“I am here because I am tired of seeing my family and my community harassed and broken apart by unjust laws and deportations,” said Cesar Miguel Vega Magallon. “Antelope Valley needs to realize that undocumented migrants are here in Lancaster, Palmdale, Quartz Hill, Littlerock –we are in need of reform now. This isn’t just an issue in Washington; it isn’t just an issue in Sacramento.”
Magallon is the Public Relations and Outreach Chair for the Antelope Valley Dream Team, a local group of undocumented students, workers and allies.
The group hosted the local rally, along with several other organizations, including the local chapter of the NAACP, the High Desert Democratic Club, The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Palmdale Elementary Teachers Association and Agents of Change.
Organizers hoped the rally, dubbed “All in for Citizenship,” would bring awareness to the plight of undocumented residents in the Antelope Valley.
“I’ve been here since I was three and a half years old, I’m 23 years old now and this is my home,” said Erick Godoy of the Antelope Valley Dream Team. “All we’re trying to do is create a better future for ourselves and for our future family.”
“We need our local leaders, especially our congressman and our assemblyman, to start getting behind immigration reform and to stop opposing it at every turn…” added Magallon. “We want them to realize that when they go on national television or national media, or when they go to Washington or Sacramento to speak against reform, they’re speaking against their own community, because we are here and we do need them behind us. We need them aware that we exist,” Magallon continued.
Wednesday’s nationwide rallies marked the anniversary of the largest nationwide day of protest that occurred on April 10, 2006. On that day, thousands of people participated in marches and rallies throughout the country to advocate for immigration reform and protest legislation that would’ve raised penalties for undocumented immigrants.
“Right now, in the California Assembly, we have the TRUST Act, which was vetoed by Governor Brown last year and it’s been re-introduced and just passed committee yesterday (April 9),” Magallon said. “We also have AB 60, which gives undocumented drivers a driver’s license. We have, at the national level, both the House and the Senate versions of immigration reform bills coming up. So the fight is now, this is the time to do it.”
“This is a wave of support towards some of kind of immigration reform, whether it is going to be some kind of guest worker program or some kind of path to immigration, something needs to be done,” said Dr. Miguel Coronado, President of Agents of Change. “They always say, ‘the borders are broken,’ but in order to fix it, we need to start with some kind of reform, some kind of law to include us into the mix of the American dream.”
For more information on the Antelope Valley Dream Team and how you can support their local efforts to advocate for immigrant rights and issues, visit the group’s facebook page here.
25 comments for "Local activists rally for immigrant rights"
The fact is you are not being given any alternative choices about the Amnesty bill & that bill will be the death of what little is actually left of the good ole USA. That bill allows for their children to get free Healthcare & employers do not have to pay for their Obamacare, they will become instantly eligible for welfare (a system they have never contributed to)and possibly free transportation for students perusing higher education. Not only that but many Hispanics are convinced CA was stolen out from under them and they believe they are entitled to it. Fast and furious armed the drug cartel (which are famous for beheading people and you do not have to be involved with drugs to become one of their victim), plus this not only applies to Hispanics, Muslims and all the rest of the immigrants will instantly be granted Amnesty, this can’t happen!
Wait a Minute! Immigrants….Rights? Yeah, they have the right to learn to speak and read English fluently, work above the table and pay their taxes, and integrate into OUR communities.
Muslims do not integrate, they dictate!
Sounds like tea partiers.
Michael Rives says
I was at the rally pictured above. I support reform of our immigration laws, but I do not support the undocumented aliens or illegal aliens quoted in the media or pictured above chanting in Spanish and trying to dictate the immigration policy of the United States. They are here ‘illegally’. They are partaking of the benefits of this country and they want to dictate to us how we should run it? However, unlike the President’s policy which wants them to pay a fine, pay back taxes, register for citizenship and get to the back of the line, I think a more fair policy (because our country has been screwed up on this issue) is to have all undocumented people have one year to register, apply for a visa, and apply for citizenship at no cost. If they choose to remain in the shadows after being offered this generous offer, they should be shipped back home.
Repeal Anchor Baby law, no more amnesty, English only, no more immigrants unless they have masters or PHD in a field that will benefit America, no more out sourcing, and less abstract BS from the posters on this forum. Get it???
Geez, PD…very harsh. I LOVE IT!!!
Finally, someone who appreciates logical thinking.
If you were born in another country that country is your home!!!! NOT AMERICA us that were born here are Americans who have SS cards and can speak the Native American Language….ENGLISH!! If you want this to be home take the classes and go through the procedure to become a citizen of the U.S. that also means you got to learn English!….QUIT USING COMING HERE TO THE U.S. TO POP OUT A COUPLE KIDS SO THEY ARE NATURAL BORN CITIZENS AND THAT I GUESS ATOMATICALLY GIVES THE PARENTS(ILLEGALS) THE RIGHT TO STAY HERE???? BUNCH OF BS!!!!….MAKES ME SICK….PUKE!
Sadly, The United States did not learn from the mistake of the indigenous people of North America about the dangers of unchecked immigration.
I have seen racism on both sides of this issue. Hispanic immigrants claiming they are just taking land back from those who stole it from them, yet speaking the language of the invaders (Spanish) who stole it from them first and forgetting their ancestral tongues.
Anglo-Americans being angry about losing their heritage and having to focus on other peoples heritage. Some just plain out being xenophobic bigots.
Asian immigrants angry that they are not receiving the same preferential treatment other groups receive, etc.
What I have not seen from either side is the ability to willingly negotiate to reform and regulate immigration.
Things that would help both sides:
1) A nationally supported language. English being the dominant language for over two hundred years, and our laws being written in it for the most part.
2) All immigrants trying to gain permanent residency must show a normal ability to understand the language. (This is there, but not enforced as well as it should be.)
3) Work VISAs only if said workers are to be paid and follow the federal minimum wage. Also, must understand the English language proficiently to live and navigate said country.
4) More enforcement and fines of employers hiring illegal immigrants, or repeated use of outside firms who regularly hire illegals.
5) Only immigrant children who migrated below the age of 14 should be fast tracked.
6) Drivers licences should only be given to people who can understand basic English necessary to actually be able to function on the road and with law enforcement. (This already exists, but is not enforced.) Any person from outside of the US is to be DNA tested and put into an Interpol based system so people like Osama Bin Laden or other war criminals cannot easily move around.
7) No illegal alien should be allowed to use any taxpayer funded scholarships unless an audit is completed by the IRS and back taxes are paid.
8) Failure to pay taxes or any criminal offense (parking fines, etc excluded) is immediate reason for a newly documented or illegal resident to be deported.
There is a surprising amount of misinformation in this post.
Firstly, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been central to the push for immigration reform. Behind Mexico and Central America, it is the Philippines, India, China and Korea where most clandestine migrations come from. Many of those nationalities have been pivotal in the movement.
Secondly, The first peoples of this continent were not done in by unchecked immigration. They were done in by massacre upon massacre, centuries of enslavement in mines and plantations and disease.
And finally, the Reconquista, that myth of reclaiming by force or just by plurality both Texas and the Mexican Cession, is something that lives more in Anglophone imaginations than in the every day opinions and thoughts of most Latinos in the United States. For most of us the Reconquista refers to something that happened in Islamic Spain, not something happening now.
On your points, an English-language requirement is both likely unconstitutional at the Federal level and inaccurate in its basis.
One should take note that throughout those 200 years English was all but unheard of in the largely Indigenous-language-speaking and Hispanophone west, or in the Francophone, Italophone, Sinophone, German-speaking, Swedish-Speaking, Dutch-Speaking, Hungarian-Speaking, Scots-Speaking enclaves in the Midwest and East coast.
It goes without saying that English is and has been the language of government in this country, but the everyday spoken language has never been just English. It never will be.
A DNA database is an extreme intrusion on individual privacy and unlikely to happen for factors as basic as money and time.
And of course, a parking fine isn’t a criminal offense. It’s an infraction, a traffic infraction and more rarely a civil infraction.
There’s lots of ideas here, but they have to be based in the reality of this country and not in the myths or vaguely-sourced ideals about what this country should look like or how it should sound.
There is just no space left for punitive demands. At long last.
About the illegal immigration from the Orient, there has indeed been a lot, and it has been proposed that oriental populations will surpass Hispanic in California. If that makes them pivotal for supporting certain immigration reforms, go ahead. Many of them work the jobs that a lot of other immigrants decline to work (worm farmers come to mind.)
You make it seem like there were not battles among the first nations. They used different groups of settlers for their own causes as well. They were not innocent peaceful peoples, and often captured and enslaved other tribes, forced sex slaves being one of their history that is forgotten.
Well, brown pride, Hecho in Mexico, Aztlan, etc bumper stickers and t-shirts aren’t helping the cause regarding the “reconquista myth.” We need to bring some “Viva Maximilian!” shirts back maybe?
The language may be unconstitutional federally, but so is the IRS and ordering the killing of US Citizens by the President. State wise it would be completely legal since it falls under a states rights.
Those enclaves you speak of were almost wiped out during various wars, and all were able to speak English. One should take note, n California there were many German and Japanese enclaves who all spoke English as well, they did not just speak one language.
I think Americans are lazy in that sense, but many of the Hispanic immigrants refuse to learn English and become insulted when you do not speak it. Sadly many Hispanics are taken advantage by Spanish speakers simply for immediate trust that entails.
The reason why I push for one language taught is not for dominance, but for the logistical reason. It is easier to educate, communicate, share ideas, to run disaster and emergency programs, etc when everyone is able to communicate in one single language. If you visit most of the world outside of Latin America, you can usually be able to communicate in English, from Taiwan, to mainland China, Germany, Finland, Russia, and even in Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, etc.
I was going along the line of infractions, a misdemeanor depending on what it is would be grounds for deportation (reckless driving, DUI, etc)
You make it seem like my comments were racist or xenophobic (“look like or sound like,”) why make that comment? It appears you are assuming what I am. I simply which to encourage a uniform application for interfacing with my fellow Americans. A single language that is promoted would help everyone in education, government, law enforcement, the judicial system, etc. It would also work to reduce the cost of running the above parts of our country.
The melanin in their skin has nothing to do with how someone acts or speaks and is only an indication of where in the world some of a persons ancestors were original from, and even that can be deceiving. So, in simple terms, I could care less what someones skin color is.
Mr. Mister says
This seems like a no brainer as we are a nation of immigrants anyways. Most having migrated from Europe, forced here from Africa, and/or already here when the southwest was stripped from Mexico.
Key missing words in you post “Legal Immigration”.
Mr. Mister says
“Legal” in the sense that England sent our ancestors here by saying you’ll be a settler in the New Land, therefor this is legal? “Legal” in the sense that we forced the natives into reservations and then we boast about it like we gave them a gift? Yes the history of our nation is anything but proud with the exception of Abraham Lincoln actually seeing the difference between right and wrong. He once said, “no power or country can threaten this great nation, except from within.” Definitely more true today than ever. Take the commenters here for example, racist, racist, and more racist. But if you say you’re not racist but say things that clearly are, guess what, you’re a racist. If we are the melting pot, as we claim to be, then why not welcome people? I do agree that English should be required to an extent. We all know clear and well if we were to go somewhere in Europe, or Central America, we would be expected to learn their Native Tongue. I don’t know why it’s so hard to meet in the middle, seeing as how our ancestors down the line were not natives anyway. Why not make a fit about all the illegal Italians in New York? Or are they exempted from your roster because they blend in better? A lot of you would do very well in 1940s Germany.
You are quoting a President who suspended Habeas Corpus and our Bill of Rights as someone who did the right thing? He was the creature he warned American’s about.
Mr. Mister says
Right because he abolished slavery, he let loose the whirlwinds of evil. Every president makes mistakes, just look at Bush Jr. No one is perfect, but if you want to attack a one of the greatest presidents we have because you don’t have the right to own people of a certain color, then have at it.
He was a politician, even historians are not sure whether he actually disliked slavery. He had written racist letters, and letters saying it should be abolished.
He was not a great President, his record speaks to that if you take out his abolitionism. Saying “Yeah, slaves in an enemy country are free” is a symbolic move for propaganda.
He stomped all over state rights, civil rights, promoted child labor in the North as a replacement of slavery. Hey, let’s pay them cheap without providing any care so they are no more than indentured servants after we free them! Since we have white indentured servants, this is equality! This is even better!
Mr. Mister says
For your first point I would say actions speak louder than words.
For your second point, who was our enemy country at the time? The South?
For the first part of your third point, I would say that EVERY president has issued executive orders to undermine certain unalienable rights whether they be state or federal, not that it makes it right, though. The second part, if I understand your point, is yes we should have had civil rights as well as child labor laws enacted at the time of abolition. But us stubborn Americans cannot accept too much change at once or we undergo a state of panic. Imagine how much longer the Civil War would’ve lasted if freed slaves were immediately made equals (to which I may add, in most whites eyes’, save myself, there is no equal to the white man). Everything works one step at a time and Lincoln took that powerful yet controversial first step. And yet you raise all his bad qualities. It’s like discrediting Thomas Jefferson for having children by house slaves and forgeting anything beneficial he has ever done. At least you can acknowledge it was a step toward progression. Progression isn’t a bad thing, it is progress. Why stay idle or go backward?
President José Joaquían de Herrera SOLD land to the US, it wasn’t stripped.
Mr. Mister says
Oh, I stand corrected. There wasn’t a Mexican-American War or anything like that, nothing like the Alamo, right? I mean maybe an 8th grader can help us with this one.
The Alamo is one of the greatest examples of people putting aside racial bigotry to fight an oppressive regime. You make it sound like it was only Europeans defending the Alamo.
Santa Anna ordered the execution of the survivors who had surrendered.
The only people he spared were to exaggerate his costly victory to make him sound like a better General than he was.
Mr. Mister says
The point I was making is that Mexico didn’t just say, “Hey yeah, we’ll sell you this land for $15 million, and call it a day.” like QHResident is implying. There was more than enough bloodshed before the purchase.
Mr. Mister says
Let me just add, that I do agree with your post in regards to the Alamo.
I wish i would off known i would off been there .