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Hundreds March for Immigration Reform PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Garcia, Sun Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 02:53

May Day Action Begins in Van Nuys and Moves Through Downtown Los Angeles


Carrying The Word -- Vocal protesters walk along Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City, calling for immigration reform during the May Day march this week..

About 200 people walked along Van Nuys Boulevard this Tuesday, May 1, demanding legalization for undocumented immigrants and an end to corporate greed.

Among them was Gerardo Quiñonez and his 20-monthold daugther Gloria, who was participating in the pro-immigrant march for the first time after his wife Blanca Cardenas was deported earlier this year after being arrested for trespassing in their foreclosed North Hollywood home.

"We're here supporting so that there's no more deportations," said Quiñonez as he walked the two and half miles from Panorama City to the Van Nuys Government Center carrying his daughter.

"This [separation from my wife] is something that hurts. The way I'm suffering, others are suffering as well," he said.

Cardenas is currently in Rosarito, Mexico hoping a lawyer can help her return to the United States. In late February, after her home was foreclosed, she was detained by police when she refused to leave the property. A week later, she was deported for lacking legal papers to live in the United States.

The pro-immigrant march was also a personal issue for Irma Reyes of Sun Valley. Last year, her brother Enrrique Chavez, 41, was stopped by police and later deported. The father of two had lived in the country for nearly 30 years and is now working at a factory in Tijuana.

Reyes visits him often, taking her neices to go see their father.

"He's very sad and thin. He suffers being away from his children," said Reyes.

"I always took part in the marches, but today I had to be here," added Reyes, who asked for a day off at work to participate in the movilization.

"The president has to give us a legalization. We come here with a goal of working hard and nothing else," she said.

Rafael Becerra and dozens of others carrying green T-shirts with the legend "indocumentado" (undocumented) in the front came from Oxnard to support the march.

"We're here to ask for immigration reform and to call on the banks not to keep stealing from the poor," said the farm worker in alluding to the demands of the Occupy Movement that was also present at this year's march.

In fact, the contingent stopped at several banks along the march, protesting the financial institution's "corporate greed."

March continues in downtown Los Angeles

After taking part in the early morning march in Van Nuys, many headed to downtown Los Angeles for the annual march through Broadway, where once again students, workers, parents and their children also lifted their voices in support of legalization for undocumented migrants.

Among them was Efraín Iñiguez who carried a stroller with a couple of "aliens" wearing T-shirts that read "I don't want to be an alien. I want to be legal."

"We're called illegal aliens but we're not from outer space," said Iñiguez, who is undocumented and described himself as an amateur astronomer.

"I don't have documents. That's why I'm here because I want an immigration reform," he said.

Also present was Jesús García from Pacoima, who has been taking part in the marches every year since 2006.

"I like to participate and support our comrades in favor of an immigration reform that is fair and needed," said the 56-yearold man who is in a wheelchair. "This is my annual commitment."

He also asked for a day off at work to take part in the movilization, something he considers people need to do.

"If we don't come out, no one is going to hear us," he said.

Police did not report any major incidents during the movilizations in Los Angeles.