‘Humane immigration reform now!’

From the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters:

‘Humane immigration reform now!’

Los Angeles—On Feb. 22, 400 immigrant workers from Mexico and Central America and their U.S. supporters marched through downtown for “comprehensive and humane immigration reform now!” Sponsored by the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, the march included members of Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional, Consejos de Federaciones Mexicanos en Norteamérica/Council of Mexican Federations, Council of Biracial Organizations and many individuals.

We gathered and marched with U.S. flags and chanted: “Somos un pueblo sin frontera/We are a people without borders” and “Obama! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!” (Listen, Obama, we’re in the struggle!) with signs that read “Don’t take my mom,” “Taxation without representation,” “Legalization—sí! Deportation—no!” and “Pathway to citizenship for families.”

Though much smaller than the march last September, when 4,000 demonstrated for immigration reform legislation to stop the massive deportations that are destroying working families (see “Legalize my parents,” Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L), this march was just as spirited.

But I heard only one woman speak, although half of the marchers were women.

Dr. John Fernandez said: You can’t separate the civil rights movement in the 1960s from the marches for immigrant rights today. I marched in the 1970 Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War, which grew out of the Civil Rights Movement.

Pastor Logan, a Black pastor/activist, said: You and I, we stand in solidarity. We are stronger together. I know the pain you’re going through. There was a time I felt the pain of losing my children. Keep fighting, keep praying. And he led a chant: “Obama! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!

—Basho

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