California Kicks Off 2016 With Anti-Deportation Protests

This past Tuesday morning, hundreds of Angelenos convened in Downtown to send a message to our city and government to get #ICEoutofCA by shutting down traffic in peaceful protest of the deportations ravaging our communities. This action was part of a statewide protest to disrupt the apathetic monotony of the LA morning commute. Other cities that joined in this coalition included San Francisco and Escondido with hundreds of protesters joining in their streets to voice the outrage of our communities at the state’s continued disregard for immigrant life. The Los Angeles protest was organized by various organizations and collectives including the Central American Resource Centers in LA, DC, and SF, Immigrant Youth Coalition, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, ICE Out of LA, Centro Presente en Boston, Latino and Latina Roundtable of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley, and Alianza Americas. In light of the Central American Refugee crisis, this coalition is no surprise. According to the Migration Policy Institute, California has some of the highest immigration rates in the United States, with Los Angeles County having the highest in the state with a 3.4 million immigrant population, followed by Orange County and then San Diego County, where Escondido is located.

The Escondido protest was organized by the San Diego Dream Team, an immigrant youth organization to get #ICEoutofESCO. The statewide protesters demand that the Obama Administration halt the inhumane deportation of refugee families, recognize Central American asylum seekers as refugees and recognize the root causes of the crisis, provide deportation relief for families with pending asylum cases, support efforts and resources to heal refugee trauma, stop the continued criminalization of Central Americans, and defund border militarization in Central America and Mexico. Read more about their demands here.

This is not the first LA protest against mass deportations of 2016. Last Wednesday, January 20, hundreds of UCLA students rallied on campus to raise awareness among their peers and campus visitors. The action was organized by the United Coalition Against Mass Deportations, which is comprised of various UCLA student organizations including USEU de UCLA, MEChA de UCLA, IDEAS at UCLA, Noche de Cultura, and the Afrikan Student Union. Check out their open letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block here, complete with a non-exhaustive list of demands for the campus. This coalition is planning various other actions for the school year, so we’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, be sure to like them on Facebook!

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