PORT HUENEME — Over 100 pro-amnesty activists from Southern California traveled to Naval Base Ventura County on Tuesday to stage a demonstration outside the gates to demand “humane treatment” for illegal aliens who have been transferred there from Texas by U.S. Border Patrol. The aliens, many of them unaccompanied children, are from Central America and crossed the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a massive recent migration.
The demonstrators represented a variety of backgrounds, from church and student organizations to left-wing political groups. They chanted, “No papers? No fear! Our children stay here!” and “All children matter! Let our kids stay!” Karen Gonzales, a senior at California State University Northridge, told Breitbart News: “As humans, none of us is illegal. The kids came here because their parents are already here, and to get away from violence.”
Oxnard native Robert Cruz, 57, who served as a U.S. Navy corpsman and U.S. Army medic, carried an American flag and told Breitbart News that he was at the protest to show “we’re a lot different than Murrieta.” He added: “I understand that many would love to come here legally, but they are running away from violence. They don’t have a say. This country was built by immigrants. Should we close our door? We stand for equality for all.”
Asked what he thought of President Barack Obama’s promise to deport children arriving illegally, Cruz said: “I think he should search deep inside his heart, and look at what he’s saying and what he’s doing. He’d be sending them back, possibly, to a death sentence.
“Would President Obama do that to his own children? Would he do that to his father’s family from Africa? Would he send his nieces and nephews back to Kenya?”
Roughly 2,300 children are being housed temporarily at the Ventura base, together with military bases in Texas and Oklahoma. Currently, the Ventura base has 20 physicians on hand, providing round-the-clock medical attention to the children, who range in ages from 13 to 17 years old. Many undertook the dangerous and costly trek from their countries of origin in the apparent belief that they would be granted amnesty when they arrived.
Elsewhere, the alien children have been released to their families, many of whom are already in the country illegally. In Murrieta, roughly 140 miles southeast, anti-illegal immigration protests have thwarted efforts to bring the children to a nearby U.S. Border Patrol station. After demonstrators diverted three buses of aliencs on July 1, two subsequent Murrieta-bound bus convoys have been rerouted south to San Ysidro, near the border.
The Murrieta protests sparked counter-demonstrations by activists who share many of the sentiments expressed by the activists who traveled to Ventura County today. Not only do they want better treatment for the illegal alien children, but they also want broader amnesty for illegal immigrants. Some have more radical demands and have worn Mexican soccer jerseys, performed Aztec dances and desecrated American flags.
In Oxnard, the mood was more peaceful, and somewhat more focused. Luzita Pineda, a junior at Cal State Northridge, pointed out the disparity between policy towards Cubans–who are given asylum when they arrive–and those who arrive from Central America. Asked about President Obama’s stance, she criticized his recent request that Congress grant him more authority over deportations. “It’s not fair to the kids,” Pineda said.