On Thursday in Los Angeles, a rally by amnesty advocates took place at the logical place: the Mexican Consulate. Celebrants voiced their delight at Barack Obama’s new immigration policy, although some thought Obama had not gone far enough.
The more extreme advocates of amnesty, headed by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), gathered at a federal prison in downtown Los Angeles, as they do weekly. The group, which wants all deportations to end, even against illegals who are convicted criminals, regularly holds protests at the prison because inmates are held there for their illegal reentry to the U.S.
The Los Angeles Times reported that after Obama’s speech, Pablo Alvarado, the director of the network, said that Obama needed to do more, adding that the crowd should remember “the person walking through the desert right now.” He yelled, “We will not rest until everyone is free.” The hundreds of activists jeered after Obama finished his speech.
NDLON created a project called NotOneMoreDeportation, which stated, “As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and inequality through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.”
At the consulate, Citlali Gomez, 34, who emigrated to the U.S. 12 years ago, said, “We’re going to leave the darkness. We’re going to stop being scared… I want to better my life. I don’t want to stay in the same situation.”
Koreans concerned about immigration gathered at the Resource Center in Koreatown. S.J. Lee, a Buena Park salesman who visited the U.S. 13 years ago with his parents, staying after his tourist visa expired to marry and father two children, said, “It has been really difficult for us to uphold our family traditions and feel comfortable when we’re out in public. The president’s reassurances give us a bit of hope because he’s showing that he cares. He understands this is not an issue affecting just Latinos.”
David Son, the Resource Center’s attorney, asserted that Korean families are afraid to have children because deportation would separate them from their children. He called it “a constant nightmare.”