Long Beach Dreamers Protest the Rescinding of DACA

10 Sep

 

About 300 people, who were mostly immigrants and their allies, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach, at 185 E. Third St., protested, rallied and marched against the federal government’s planned ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as the acronym DACA, which was announced the day before.

 

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At the start of the Long Beach protest, on Wednesday, Sept.6, against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program, the crowd stood along the north side of Third Street

At the start, about 30 people stood with their signs and chanted on the north side of Third Street as cars drove past.  The protesters chanted in English and Spanish:  Education, not deportation; No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here; No borders, no nations, no deportations; Move ICE (U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement), get out the way, get out the way; (Long Beach) Mayor Garcia: listen, we are in struggle; The people united will never be defeated; If we don’t get no (sic) justice, you don’t get no (sic) peace; No justice, no peace, no racist police.

They also engaged in calls and responses: first asking “What do we want?” and answering with “DACA.”  Continuing they shouted, “When do we want it?” “Now” was the shout back, and “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do?  Stand up fight back.”

Occasionally honking horns in solidarity could be heard.

After standing along Third Street with their signs and chanting, the crowd gathered to hear the speakers in English with Spanish translation.  At the start of the speeches the crowd was about a 100 people and by the end, it was about 300.

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Elizabeth Garcia is a DSA-LB leader and activist.  Garcia emceed the Wednesday, Sept. 6, protest against the federal government’s rescinding the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks

Elizabeth Garcia, who identified herself as a member of the Long Beach Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, spoke before emceeing.  Garcia said, “As socialists, we understand that the ruling class has no real interest in getting rid of undocumented immigrants.  We understand that it is their source of labor and that they are going to exploit it.  What we do know is that they’re using these tactics to keep us afraid, to keep our communities deeper underground to make them afraid to speak out when their landlords are taking advantage of them…living in uninhabitable conditions, when their bosses decide to steal their labor from them.”  She added, “There is value inherent in human life.  We do not defend people because they produce things for this country.  We do not protect because they clean your house or cook your food.  We protect them because they are human beings.”

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The Rev. Nancy Frausto of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a DACA recipient.  Frausto spoke at the protest against the federal government’s rescinding the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

The Rev. Nancy Frausto, who is the Associate Rector from St. Lukes Episcopal, told the crowd she is a DACA recipient.  Frausto, who spoke in Spanish and English, said, “I was brought into this country when I was 7-years-old.  I have worked and sacrificed so much to achieve my dreams.  I get to be a pastor to a wonderful congregation.  I get to know people and I get to know their stories and I know many people are suffering….They are trying to separate communities of color.  They are trying to pit us against each other.”  She asked the crowd to be loud for the mayor could hear that Long Beach needs to become a sanctuary city.

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Alicia Morales is a DACA recipient and an activist with the LBIRC.  Morales spoke. Wednesday, Sept. 6, protest against the rescinding of the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

Alicia Morales, who is an activist with the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, said, “I am undocumented, I’m unafraid and I’m unapologetic….Yesterday’s (Tuesday, Sept. 5) decision was a blow to my humanity.  It was a blow to the humanity of the many families who call California their home, who call Long Beach their home.”  In response to the argument that President Obama’s Executive Order, which brought about DACA, was an example of presidential overreach, she pointed out President Obama tried to work with the Congress of 2012, but it failed to pass any legislation addressing immigration.

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Paula Abad is the chairwoman of Anakbayan Long Beach.  Abad spoke at the protest against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program; photo by Barry Saks.

Paula Abad, the chairwoman of Anakbayan Long Beach, which according to its About Facebook page, is a progressive Filipino youth and student organization, said, “We are in solidarity with all of the migrants and all of those affected under this decision.  We condemn the rescinding of DACA against undocumented youth whose parents were forced to migrate here because of the harsh conditions that their families were facing in their homeland.”  She ended with the chant, “Long live international solidarity.”

Michelle Connolly, who represents Indivisible Connected Long Beach, read President Obama’s response to the rescinding of DACA.  To read President Obama’s response on Facebook, go here.

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A view of the protest crowd, before the speeches began on Wednesday, Sept. 6, but after the chanting along Third Street; photo by Barry Saks.

A statement from Congressman Alan Lowenthal was also read.  To read the congressman’s response, go here.

After the speeches, the protesters, carrying their signs and chanting, marched south down the Promenade toward Broadway, turned right on Broadway toward Pine Avenue.  They again turned right on Pine and headed back to the park.  While most of the chants were the same as used earlier in the evening one was not, which was “No ban on stolen land.”

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The front of the protest march down the Promenade, on Wednesday, Sept. 6, in downtown Long Beach, California; photo by Barry Saks

The Sacramento Bee, on Tuesday, Sept 5, paraphrased UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson, who is a national expert on immigration.  Johnson said federal officials framed the end of DACA as a six-month phase out, with a March 2018 deadline  for Congress to pass a law addressing DACA.  In the same story, Johnson also provided historic context.  He said the Obama-era program, started in 2012, has allowed an estimated 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children – including more than 200,000 in California– to get authorization to work or go to school and have their DACA status renewed every two years.  To read the Sacramento Bee story go to here.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, rescinded the DACA program.  In part the Attorney General said, “(T)he executive branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch, through DACA, deliberately sought to achieve what the legislative branch specifically refused to authorize on multiple occasions.  Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”

“The effect of this unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences.  It also denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”  To read the Attorney General’s full statement, go here.

Barry Saks is a socialist.

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The crowd during the speeches, on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at the Harvey Milk Promenade Park in Long Beach.  The speeches were part of the protest against the federal government’s rescinding of the DACA program the day before; photo by Barry Saks.

 

One Response to “Long Beach Dreamers Protest the Rescinding of DACA”

  1. Patricia Clark Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Wonderful article, Barry. Thanks for keeping us informed!

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