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“¡Si se puede!” “¡Si se puede!” “¡Si se puede!” were among the chants yesterday in front of the California state house as immigrants and immigrant allies from across the state gathered to celebrate Immigrant Day 2018.
The day of action, which was organized by the California Immigrant Policy Center, took place in Sacramento, California, where advocacy groups and hundreds of immigrants united to raise their voices for immigrant rights. The message was simple: keep immigrants’ rights in California moving forward.
Last year, state leaders passed the California Values Act, which limits local cooperation with ICE. Studies have shown that immigrant friendly policies — and the determination of places like California to resist Donald Trump’s deportation force — have played a role in keeping deportations down. But anti-immigrant groups (astroturfed in by hate organizations like FAIR) are trying to build opposition to the CA Values Act, and Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department is suing California over the law. That means that, in recent months, it has become more important than ever for local elected allies to make it clear that they stand with immigrants.
The event began with an interfaith ceremony followed by a Unity Rally, where immigrants shared their stories and, advocates called for laws which would protect immigrants, and local elected officials pledged their support for the community.
“The sun in shining in Sacramento today because of you,” said Assemblyman for District 17 David Chiu. “As the son of immigrants, as a former immigrant rights attorney, I know and we know that the state of California was built in the backs of immigrants, that our current success as the fifth largest economy in the world is built on the backs of immigrants and the future of our state depends on the success of our immigrant community.”
After the Unity Rally, the throng of attendees spent the rest of the day meeting with their local members of Congress to ask them to fight for immigrant rights and advance the well-being of the immigrant community across the state.
Check out photos and tweets from the event: