comscore Immigrant groups to rally against Trump’s planned crackdown | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Immigrant groups to rally against Trump’s planned crackdown

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Thousands of demonstrators march along Wilshire Boulevard during an immigration protest near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. Immigrant rights advocates are planning demonstrations at dozens of rallies around the country this weekend in what they are calling “the first salvo” against President-elect Donald Trump’s pledged hard line on immigration.

WASHINGTON >> Immigrant rights advocates are planning demonstrations at dozens of rallies across the country this weekend in what they are calling a “first salvo” against President-elect Donald Trump’s pledged hard line on immigration.

Union leaders and young immigrants are organizing more than 50 protests and cultural events from Philadelphia to Phoenix on Saturday with an aim toward highlighting the power of the immigrant rights movement. Immigrants living in the country illegally also hope the events will make it clear to the incoming administration that they don’t plan to leave the country despite Trump’s calls for a border wall, tougher immigration enforcement and mass deportations.

“This is our first salvo to what may be a long, drawn out campaign,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

The protests mark the latest chapter in a movement that has evolved considerably since 2006, when more than a million people took to the streets to protest a Republican-backed immigration bill that would have made it a crime to be in the country illegally. The bill was widely viewed as overly harsh and sparked a backlash that culminated in massive May Day marches across the country.

The crowds this weekend are expected to be nowhere near as big as then, including rallies at a church in Washington and teachers’ union hall in Chicago. In Los Angeles and San Jose, California, groups are holding cultural events to show their support of immigrants and opposition to Trump’s proposals.

Times have clearly changed since 2006. The protests born of anger and frustration a decade ago with the immigration bill haven’t been repeated in recent years as the playbook evolved and advocacy groups started making direct appeals to lawmakers and the president.

After multiple proposals failed in Congress, President Barack Obama in 2012 launched an executive effort to protect some young immigrants from deportation.

The creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, aimed at helping one of the loudest and most sympathetic immigrant groups, was heralded as a good first step by advocates who hoped it would be a prelude toward overhauling immigration laws.

But that didn’t happen, and Republican-led states pushed back against Obama’s plans to expand the program.

Now the focus is on the next administration, and the future of the movement seems as uncertain as Trump’s plans.

As a candidate, Trump promised his supporters stepped-up deportations and a Mexican-funded border wall, but it is unclear which plans the celebrity businessman will act on first, and when. And many immigrants are fearful of the campaign rhetoric but less motivated to protest in the absence of specific actions.

“Right now, all we have is these vague kinds of promises,” said Chris Zepeda-Millan, a professor of ethnic studies at University of California, Berkeley. “Attacks have to occur for people to mobilize.”

One factor that could influence what actions immigrant activists take going forward — and how much support they draw — is how Trump handles the group of more than 750,000 young immigrants covered by Obama’s DACA program. Many are college-educated and politically savvy and have been willing to hold sit-ins and risk arrest to push for immigration changes.

They are also factoring prominently in many of Saturday’s events. Instead of protests, a coalition of immigration groups in Phoenix will have a news conference and information clinic where young immigrants will deliver personal testimony about how Obama’s program changed their lives. A separate event includes a panel with immigration attorneys and experts on how to prepare for changes under Trump.

What is certain is that the immigration rights movement has come a long way since its most public stand in 2006. And the days of nearly everyone staying entirely in the shadows are likely over.

“Coming forward as undocumented and unafraid has been really a hallmark” of the movement in recent years, said Cecilia Munoz, who heads Obama’s Domestic Policy Council and was a top official with the National Council of La Raza during the early days of immigration protests. “The immigration rights movement has developed enormously … and 2006 was a moment in which people came forward and decided, ‘We are not invisible anymore.’”

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (20)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Trump was not serious: he was playing for an ignorant crowd to get votes. It was all entertainment for the masses. He will be, and already is, backing off his so-called pledges. He will not deport many and, in fact, Obama deported many more than Trump will. The phony “wall” is as dead as the proverbial doornail. Entrance to the USA has been way down in recent years and, in fact, many more left the country voluntarily than came in under Obama. Reality is crashing down on trump. Look for him to be an unpopular, failed President who is done in 4 years if not earlier.

    • Allie, do you have a crystal ball? Your disparaging remark about Trump voters being ignorant just speaks volumes on the reason why Trump was elected. Regarding deportations, Obama counts the people rejected at the boarded in his total of deportations during his term. Give the chance for crying out loud!

        • This is the product of not enforcing Illegal Migration! We have to start somewhere or we lose our Nation. If not, why have immigration laws or for that matter any Laws/Rules at all? Give amnesty to illegal aliens and that will just add more fuel to the fire in doing away with borders. Illegal migration still means “illegal” in my dictionary. There’s nothin RIGHT about it!

        • NO to amnesty! Just issue temporary visa’s like other foreign Countries do, have them renew it every 3 months and so on. Too many options for illegal migrants to stay in the US like if having a baby born on US soil is just another problem where illegal exploits our immigration rules. This is just one example and it shows you how illegals use the loopholes to stay in the US having kids born here. In Asia, an Alien migrant is an Alien migrant, one reapplies every so often to stay in the country and even having to leave the country and having to re-enter it to get a new visa. Strict visa Laws, immigrants not allowed to have jobs that takes away from their own citizens, not allowed to own the majority of land properties, etc. This deters Illegal Migration! The US has to stop being so laxed not enforcing immigration laws in the books

    • What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand peanut brain? Google that word up and see what you come up with. The last time I checked it means UNLAWFUL. If we want labor force for the farms, then go through the work visa program that way everyone who wants to work in the US get documented and accounted for. Crossing the border ILLEGALLY is unlawful, that is why every country has immigration laws. Break the immigration laws and you pay the consequences. You bleeding hearts are part of the problem, you are enabling all these ILLEGAL aliens with their ill informed bird-brains.

      • You’re wasting your time South76. Post after post allie has shown us all that there there is no logic, reason, or any substance whatsoever. She is sore that her HiLIARy couldn’t bully her way into the presidency, and she probably won’t give Trump a chance to right all the wrongs from the last eight years.
        Maybe we should just let everyone that wants to come to the U.S. come in. We could start off with 125 million Mexicans, and just keep going. And of course thay all should be welcomed with housing, food, education, and medical care. We might as well give everybody what they deserve, because as a taxpayer, I don’t mind paying for all the illegals. I probably should work more overtime to help them out. And the United States has an obligation to help everyone on the planet. We can afford it, it’s not like we’re almost twenty trillion dollars in debt.

      • Actually we have a labor force for the farms, it’s called Welfare Recipients. I wonder how much of our tax dollars go to illegals in the form of welfare, Medicaid, etc. Any guesses?

    • allie, so if illegals are leaving the USA for a better life back to Mexico, why don’t you join them? You don’t seem to be making any sense, no one can phantom why you’re still here on Oahu living off the taxpayers?

  • So the illegals plan to physically fight against the government. Go fight the Mexican Government (or wherever you may be from) then you can have them redress the economic, crime and social problems that caused you to come here.

    • Illegal immigrants making demands to the US government. How much more liberal can you get. Why don’t we just let them take over the country. They seem to have more voice than I.

      • Nah, we should just encourage the illegals to all join the government union here in HI. Let them also join the ERS pension system! It’s what the “D” voters and politicians want anyways! LOL

  • Hawaii is thousands of miles from the heart of the problem. I live in Texas. You wouldn’t believe how many illegals live here, take jobs from Americans and demand that the taxpayers support them…..housing, education, medical care….you name it. The more there are, the more clout they have. Should have been stopped thirty years ago.

    • Easy fix!
      Any sanctuary city or state should stop receiving any support from the federal government. No access to any form of federal support!
      Any employer hiring illegals and caught should be taxed 100% to the the point that they go bankrupt and CEOs should be criminally charged. Guaranteed to fix the problem literally overnight and illegals will leave.

      • No-can-do dragoninwater. Too late for any easy fix. Stop support from the Feds and it’ll hurt ordinary citizens. Bankrupt companies would take jobs away from citizens. Like I said, dragoninwater, the government for the past thirty years looked the other way while illegals streamed across the border with little consequence.
        Trump is correct, send them back, but easier-said-than-done though. At least he’s recognizes illegal immigration as a major problem. Most people admit to this as a problem except California…with good reason given the illegals’ clout in that state.

        • 1. “Stop support from the Feds and it’ll hurt ordinary citizens”

          How’s that? Illegals already steal from citizens, they steal their identities, steal government assistance that was funded by legal residents and citizens for legal residents and citizens.

          2. “Bankrupt companies would take jobs away from citizens”

          Not entirely accurate. Most companies that hire illegals have mostly all illegals across the board. Very few to no legal residents or legitimate US Citizens would be impacted. Then again, jobs once available to the legal would be freed up for the legals.

          Take construction for example. I once remember US Citizens doing construction. Go to any mainland city, when’s the last time you saw a US Citizen doing construction, plumbing, electrical, etc? Those jobs were all stolen to illegals. Once you rid of the illegals those jobs now are going to be avail to the citizens that or the company faces extreme taxation and penalties that will bankrupt it if it does not comply.

Scroll Up