What Dream May Come . . .
By Alex Distefano
Yesterday, as most of the globe observed International Workers Day, community members, a mix of local organizations and activists gathered and marched in San Bernardino in support of immigration reform, specifically focusing on immigration reform, the increase of poverty in San Bernardino and the plight of low wage workers, many of whom are immigrants as well.
The event, which included a massive march and rally within San Bernardino City limits, was organized by the activist group, Justice for Immigrants Coalition.
The Weekly spoke to one of the organizers of the rally, Jennaya Dunlap, who said that even though events like this take place every year, this year’s event was crucial because conditions are deteriorating financially for immigrants, low wage workers and pretty much all residents of San Bernardino.
“We know the city is bankrupt,” Dunlap said. “But with this march, our issue is to shed light on the growing poverty and disparity among immigrants and low wage workers in San Bernardino and throughout the Inland Empire and our entire state.”
Dunlap said that more than one organization was involved in putting this march together, which began at Secombe Lake. The marchers headed towards the SEIU Office; and ended at San Bernardino City Hall. Dunlap’s says that this was an important event to show District 31 Rep. Gary Miller how important a comprehensive immigration reform plan is to all of his constituents, in the heart of San Bernardino, where the financial meltdown and city’s subsequent bankruptcy has left many residents (both immigrants and non immigrants) to struggle with poverty, unemployment, food stamps and even homelessness.
“We need to send the message to Congress that now is the time to fix our broken immigration system,” Dunlap said. “We demand that the federal government stop the raids against these workers now, stop deporting nonviolent criminals and separating families, it’s terrorizing these families.”
Hundreds of people came to the march, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Participants shouted, “Obama escucha. Estamos en la lucha,” which translates to “Obama listen. We are in the fight.”
Since at least 2009, there have been events like this annually, coordinated by Justice for Immigrants Coalition and other similar local organizations, according to Dunlap. Many of these events are held between the cities of San Bernardino and Riverside
We’re pressure congress to take action, and not just pass some immigration reform by name only but it includes as many people as possible and stops criminalizing these workers and immigrants.