BREA– A crowd rallied outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office on Friday afternoon, pleading for a meeting and asking him to support Immigration Reform.
Pedro Trujillo, CSU Northridge graduate, Diana Colin, CSU Fullerton graduate, members of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, and Ricardo Muniz, a member of the Fullerton College Dream Team, organized the rally.
They brought these students together to pressure Ed Royce, to ask him to keep immigrant families together, to let him know that they will continue fighting for the cause and that he should join them as well.
“I am here asking for Ed Royce’s support so that we can have a legislation that will bring a solution to this problem of immigration,” said Trujillo. “We will continue fighting, we will continue coming back because this matters to us and effects us personally, and there’s nothing that can hold us back and can stop us.”
The rally included students from Cal Poly Pomona, CSUN, CSUF, Fullerton College, and people walking by that decided to join in. The crowd marched up and down Birch Street and outside his office chanting “Ed Royce where’s your heart, the immigration system tears families apart, and “el pueblo unido jamas sera vencido,” which translates in English to “the people united will never be divided.”
While the crowd was rallying outside his office two speakers, Gabael Botallo, a Business administration/ Communication major and MEChA co-chair, Guadalupe Cisneros, shared their story and said why this rally was important to them.
“Immigrants are not criminals they’re simply people,” said Botallo. “I’ve been in this country for 11 years, to differed action I was able to get my license and now I am a working citizen contributing to society.”
“This country is made out of immigrants and we should give every immigrant, no matter what country they come from, a chance to be here,” said Cisneros.
To reinforce their message Botallo and Colin decided to take their stance to the next level, by walking up to Royce’s office and personally sharing their stories.
When they came back they delivered some bad news to the group saying the secretaries didn’t help them out and didn’t even ask them for their information to follow up with any news. In response, the group marched up to his office to do a sit-in and see if they could get better results.
“It has reached a breaking point and they abuse people who are undocumented in the workforce, but if that wasn’t the case people would be getting paid minimum wage and more money would be contributed back to society,” said Muniz.
Royce and other House Republicans have voted to deny funding for the deferred action program, which grants work permits and two-year deportation deferrals to young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
His vote is symbolic because in the 39th congressional district he serves, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Latinos account for roughly 28.5 percent and 32.6 percent of the population.
“We have been to his office more than 11 times in the last three months and we’ve never met him in person; we don’t want to meet with his staff, we want to meet with him,”said Felipe Escobar, 25, a Political Science major at CSUN, and organizer for the California Dream Network.
After the sit-in, the group was able to get an email for the person who plans the meeting, but they still plan to reconvene and come back with a larger crowd, and will continue knocking on his door to make sure he is taking a stance on immigration and isn’t staying silent.
Said Muniz, “We will continue fighting for this cause until he supports immigration reform, an immigration reform that is fair and has a pathway to citizenship.”