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Immigrant families call for May Day actions to demand legalization for all

By staff

Elvira Arellano, immigration advocate joined Centro CSO members and Boyle Height

Los Angeles, CA – On April 8, a press conference was held with immigrant families and Centro CSO calling on President Joe Biden to move forward with a plan to grant legal status to the over 12 million undocumented living and working in the U.S.

Undocumented residents and other members of Centro CSO were joined by Tanya Lozano from the Right to Family delegation from Chicago. She is the daughter of Emma Lozano who launched the 2006 mega marches. Also speaking at the press conference was immigrant rights activist from Chicago, Elvira Arellano. Years ago, Arellano took refuge at a Chicago church to oppose her deportation and helped start the sanctuary movement in the U.S.

Carlos Montes, a local Chicano human rights activist from Boyle Heights, spoke, calling for mass marches and unity to demand legalization for all. Montes also denounced police killings of Blacks and Chicanos, especially by the LA Sheriff's department with its deadly deputy gangs.

Sol Marquez, another Boyle Heights resident, Centro CSO activist, and recent mother, spoke about the racist condition immigrants face in ICE detention centers. She also told of immigrants in other countries being granted citizenship for being essential workers during the pandemic. “All immigrant workers in the U.S. are essential and should be given legalization now,” Marquez said.

Luis Sifuentes of Centro CSO spoke about the abuse women and children face in the long journey to cross the border only to face abuse at the hands of ICE. “These are concentration camps where women and children get sick and die and are subjected to sexual abuses,” Sifuentes said, pointing out that last year a whistleblower revealed that ICE doctors are forcefully performing hysterectomies on women. “This is genocide! We demand these children to be reunited with their families and close the camps!”

Undocumented families suffered for years under the openly racist Trump presidency but have continued to fight and demand legalization for all and an end to deportations. The press conference called for mass marches in all major cities of the U.S. Organizers feel the time is right for mass marches and for the passing of legislation to relieve the suffering of millions of families.

In the Los Angeles barrio of Boyle Heights, May Day plans are to assemble on May 1, 11 a.m. at the Chavez Avenue corner with Mathews Street. From there participants will march to the heart of the community, Mariachi Plaza. At the plaza, a rally will feature various speakers, live performances and snacks. For more information contact: @Centro CSO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, [email protected], 323-943-2030.

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