Things That Matter

11 Powerful Reasons Why People Protested For Immigrant Rights In Los Angeles This Weekend

Thousands of protesters met in downtown Los Angeles’ Pershing Square Park to show solidarity for immigrants. Children showed up to support immigrant parents, friends supported each other and whole families took to the streets to protest as a unit. Here are some of the people mitú spoke to about their reason for protesting.

Kimberly Calleros, 22

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here just because this is something that I hold close to my heart,” Calleros told mitú. I come from a family of immigrants so I feel like it’s definitely something that I want to be out here and support, especially just because it’s something close to me. I feel like the people out here can make a difference and I can’t wait to see how far this goes.”

Jaqueline Martinez, 18

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here because I’m tired of being scared,” Martinez told mitú. “I’m tired of feeling threatened and I feel like uniting with so many people who support people like me, because I’m a DACA-beneficiary, that’s just such a warm feeling and I’m here because of my parents. Like my sign says, she crossed for me so I’m here representing her.”

Lizbeth Molina, 23

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here for my mother,” Molina told mitú. “I’m here for everyone whose voices have been silence by this society that’s been compromised by the tyrant that’s in power right now and because I have the right to be here. I’m just here to show solidarity.”

Jessica Alcantar, 24

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here today because I come from a family of immigrants,” Alcantar told mitú. “I’m first-generation and first-generation in college with a master’s degree for my family. This country has offered us a lot of opportunities and I think that everyone who’s come here deserves those same opportunities.”

Ashley Ramirez, 19

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here because everyone deserves to be here. This is literally the land of the free. We say that we accept people but how can we say we accept people when we’re deporting people back? We’re banning people who are Muslim. That just doesn’t make sense,” Ramirez told mitú. “My father, he’s an immigrant here. He’s trying so hard to get his green card and he has to live with that fear now of getting caught and being sent back. I am marching for my father. I am marching for so many people here today.”

Cuathmose, 50 (pictured right)

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“We are here to support the people at this march and what they are doing and to defend their rights,” Cuathmose told mitú.

Juan Silva, 28

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here because I am supporting other immigrants,” Silva told mitú. “I am an immigrant from Sinoloa, Mexico.”

Jose Barragan, 36

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here to represent what the American Dream can really be,” Barragan told mitú. “Right now the only defense we have against this administration is to take to the streets, show our resistance and really, for those who are still on the fence and think that the campaign was simply a war of words is in actuality becoming a war of actions and we are under attack. A lot of our communities are under attack.”

Valencia/Soto Family

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“We’re both the children of immigrants and I think it’s just important. I love this city and this city was built on immigrants, this whole country first off, but this city specifically,” Mary Valencia told mitú. “We want to show our sons that it’s not okay. What’s going on it not okay and we are all in this together. Whether it’s marching or supporting the organizations that are doing the grassroots work. We’ve got to do something.”

Sal Osorio, 37 (pictured left)

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m just supporting everyone who is an immigrant, you know, brothers, sisters, coworkers, friends from church, friends from school,” Osorio told mitú. “We’re all somehow connected to all of these people. We were all in that position at some time. Just because we are on this side of the wall doesn’t mean that, ‘Oh. It’s okay. It’s not going to affect us.'”

Soto/Serrano Family

Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

“I’m here because I think what Trump is doing is wrong,” Gloria Soto (pictured left) told mitú. “I don’t think it’s fair and I think we have to take a stand to show him that we’re not going to stay quiet; we’re not going to back down. Immigrants are a part of America and part of our history and he can’t change that.”

READ: Here’s What ICE Is Saying About The Arrest Of 23-Year-Old Mexican DACA Recipient

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

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Biden Administration’s Handling Of The Border Criticized By Both Sides Of The Aisle

The Biden administration inherited more than an out of control pandemic when they got to work in January. The former administration also left the Biden administration an orchestrated crisis at the border. For some, President Joe Biden is not acting fast enough to fix the problem.

President Biden announced that Vice President Kamala Harris will lead the response to immigration at the border.

The approach, according to Politico, is going to be a two-pronged approach to effectively curb irregular immigration. First, the vice president will focus on stopping the migration journey by addressing the issues in the countries that people are fleeing. Particularly, Vice President Harris will be focusing on the issues in the Northern Triangle countries, which are El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

At the same time, the vice president will be working with the countries directly to solve the root problems. Vice President Harris will be working to strengthen the nation’s relations with Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

“I can think of nobody who is better qualified to do this,” President Biden told reporters at the White House.

There is a lot of talk about the U.S.-Mexico border right now from both Democrats and Republicans.

Bruno Lozano, the Democratic mayor of Del Rio, Texas, is calling on the Biden administration to take steps to curb the issue. Mayor Lozano was a guest on Fox News recently and spoke about what he saw as an influx of migrants coming into his town. Mayor Lozano told Fox News that the number of people coming to the border has strained Customs and Border Patrol in his city.

“You have a breach on national security levels that have never before been seen in modern history and you’re not even batting an eye about it, you’re not even calling it a ‘crisis‘, you’re calling it a quote-unquote challenge,” Mayor Lozano, told the New York Post on Sunday. “It’s a slap in the face.”

Some residents of Del Rio are critical of their local leaders shifting blame for their own shortcomings.

The brutal winter storm that recently shut down Texas depleted many municipalities of their resources. Residents in Del Rio are putting the blame on their local leaders who have tried to pass the buck. Weeks after the winter storm crippled Texas, grocery store shelves remained empty and residents felt overlooked.

Mayor Lozano has been pleading with President Biden to step up and help them deal with the influx of migrants. Del Rio has one processing center for migrants and the increase has left the city and the processing facility strained.

The Biden administration has faced backlash after photos of detention centers show people sleeping on floors.

There have been several reports that the Biden administration is building new places to hold migrants that have come to the border seeking asylum. The administration is currently taking in unaccompanied minors who are arriving at the border while preventing other migrants from crossing the border.

The Biden administration promised to change the approach to the border, but Title 42 has been left intact. Title 42, which was enacted by the former administration at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, keeps people from entering the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order that invoked Title 42, which closed the border indefinitely due to public health concerns.

At the root of the attention is the claim that there is a surge of migrants.

Some Republican politicians are claiming that news of more lenient immigration laws is prompting a “surge” of arrivals. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California claims that what is happening is a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration.”

Yet, a Washington Post report debunks the idea that there is a sudden surge. Rather, what is happening, according to the report, is a usual seasonal trend. CBP has reported a 28 percent increase in apprehensions at the southern border in January and February but data shows an annual spike in migrants from March to May every year.

The issues on the border are complex and will require a lot of time and energy to handle effectively and compassionately. The Biden administration promised to tackle the complex issue of immigration during the campaign.

READ: Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

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