Immigration reform protest snarls downtown SF, 23 arrested

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SFPD escort protester Mayra Lopez away, shortly before placing her in a police wagon.
Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Today [Fri/4] at 11am, the SF Bay Coalition for Immigrant Justice held a protest and rally to urge President Obama to halt all deportations and keep his promise of comprehensive immigration reform.The protest included a group of 23 people, some of which are undocumented immigrants, which took part in a peaceful act of civil disobedience.

All 23 protesters — 15 women and eight men — were arrested; cited for failure to diperse, failure to obey a traffic officer, and blocking an intersection; and booked at the police substation in the Tenderloin before being release, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

More than 30 SFPD officers flanked the march after activists, clergy, and community organizers gathered at One Post St. and made the short but spirited walk to 120 Montgomery St., a building that houses the San Francisco Immigration Court.

Video of two of the arrests. 

Rev. Debra Lee, a United Church of Christ pastor working with Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, said, “We are here… because everyday we see people in our congregations who come to us because their family has been thrown into crisis by the federal government.”

Other clergy members who were arrested include Rev. Richard Smith of St. John Evangelist Episcopal Church, and Rabbi Mike Rothbaum, of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice. “We work with with people of other faiths because part of the power of the coalition [is that] although we have different faiths, we come together around a common belief  that the migrant should be treated with dignity.” Lee told the Guardian.

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The protesters march downtown. Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez.

Rothbaum delivered a powerful address standing atop a parked pickup truck. Rothbaum held up a black-and-white photo of members of his family being sworn in as US citizens. In the image was his aunt, a Polish Jew.  “I would like to remind President Obama that his father was a wandering man from Kenya,” he said. “That my aunt and his father are no different from the people being held in this building.”

All three clergy members were arrested for taking part in the act of civil disobedience. Others arrested include Akiko Aspillaga, a native born Filipina who came to the US at the age of 10 with a visa. But because of a mix of complications with the employment of her mother and misinformation, Aspillaga and her parents lost their visas. Nevertheless, Aspillaga is now a graduate student at San Francisco State University’s school of nursing. However, because she is undocumented, she cannot receive federal grants or loans and depends on scholarships, and her mother to pay for tuition.

Another was Reyna Maldonado, a City College of San Francisco student born in Mexico. “We are here to demand President Obama to stop deportations. There has already been 2 million deportations.” Maldonado had a picture of Alex Aldana, who is currently being held in a San Diego ICE detention center: “He is one of the people we are fighting for [in addition] to stopping separations of families.”

Even if both women are undocumented, face arrest, and a risk of being turned over to US immigration authorities, they felt the risks were worth it. “I feel like the moral imperative right now, with families being torn apart and all the pain our community… Everything is worth it,” Akiko told the Guardian, “There is a possibility of me being deported but we’re standing up for something we believe in.”

After all the speakers addressed the crowd of about 300 people, the group of 23 sat in a tight circle on a banner that read, “Deporter in Chief.” And parodied President Obama’s “Hope” campaign poster with a pair of handcuffed hands replacing the president’s picture.

Once the group of 23 blocked traffic on the intersection of Sutter and Montgomery, SFPD officers began moving people off the street and onto the sidewalks. Then, one by one, each member of the group had their hands zip-tied behind their back and loaded into one of three SFPD vans.

This protest was part of a national day of action in favor of immigration, and it precedes an even bigger mobilization tomorrow in San Jose. 

 

Photo Gallery

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Comments

So if they are illegals and were arrested, why weren't they just handed over to ICE?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

Illegal immigration is a crime. The remedy is jail and deportation. The corrupt Obama regime isn't doing its job, otherwise these border-violating miscreants wouldn't be here making their ludicrous demands. Build a wall and deport 'em all. It's the law.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

DHS didn't have a bus waiting to return each and every one of them back to their country of residence.

The gall of a non-citizen like Akiko bitching because they can't get free cash money to go to school is staggering. She's mad because she wants free shit - and as a non-citizen she doesn't qualify for it. That's the gist of her argument.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

Just more progressives trying to get RICH off of BIG IMMIGRATION. All those fat cat one percenter liberal immigration lawyers just exploiting colored people of color and crowding out the LGBTQ community by raising SF rents with BIG TECH South Asian immigrant programmer types. Progressives want the immigration industrial complex to succeed so they can get paid at the expense of gays and minorities that already live here. If you say otherwise you're rayyyyycessss.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

Actually, good point. I don't think most of the lawyers you mention are quite that rich...But yeah, many tech jobs that could easily be done by locals are filled by immigrants. While those immigrants aren't here illegally or seeking public funds (for a change), they're potentially displacing US workers and lowering the housing vacancy rate.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 12:46 am
Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

No human being is illegal. And unless you are a Native American, go back to the land of your ancestors. The ignorance is shocking; Mexicans, Guatamalans, Salvadorians, etc.- these are the true Americans. We (Europeans, myself included) left our homelands, came to America as immigrants, violently robbed the native peoples of their land, and now we demand that they get out?
I am so proud of these strong, young people who had the courage to stand up for what is right and just. These are the people we need in leadership positions in our country. These are the people who will make our nation a better place.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

Go back to Europe honky.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 11:03 pm

You don't seem to understand language, cultural and genetic groups in the least.

America killed off a all whole different group of natives.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 11:49 pm

presence here is illegal. I see no problem.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 8:31 am

You don't believe the principle of USA sovereignty.
The countries you mention: try entering and living in their country illegally.
You won't be treated as an "immigrant" you will be thrown in prison.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

Youre right... they are foreign nationals. And in a world of nation states with borders - like Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador - borders serve a purpose, immigration laws serve a purpose and deportation of those who violate our national sovereignty serves a purpose.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 6:38 am

No human being is illegal. And unless you are a Native American, go back to the land of your ancestors. The ignorance is shocking; Mexicans, Guatamalans, Salvadorians, etc.- these are the true Americans. We (Europeans, myself included) left our homelands, came to America as immigrants, violently robbed the native peoples of their land, and now we demand that they get out?
I am so proud of these strong, young people who had the courage to stand up for what is right and just. These are the people we need in leadership positions in our country. These are the people who will make our nation a better place.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

is the language of the conqueror's you jabbering buffoon.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 04, 2014 @ 11:52 pm

Unauthorized aliens.
Europeans came, they saw, they conquered. Then they grew weak. History repeats.

Posted by ErikKengaard on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 5:24 am

If that's being weak, I'll take it.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

There is a massive amount of money to be made by agriculture, hospitality industry, education, tech industry, lawyers, et al, with costs externalized and borne by the middle class. That is why over a billion is spent on lobbying.
See "Our Massively One-Sided Immigration Debate" by John Carney @ CNBC.com (3/26)
See "Untangling the webs of immigration lobbying" by Lee Drutman and Alexander Furnas at The Sunlight Foundation (3/25)
A “small business” technology trade group that’s aggressively pressing Congress to ease key immigration laws is heavily funded by one of the world’s wealthiest corporations (MSFT), according to a Center for Public Integrity review of company disclosures.
Go NumbersUSA

Posted by ErikKengaard on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 5:21 am

If we don't let everyone in, who will clean my mansion and the rest of my estate?

Posted by racer さ on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 7:37 am

I do not support illegals but I do hire them, helping them feed their families, and helping them far more than some activist.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 8:33 am

Decent people, good people. They don't complain much on job sites and they're always on time. Compare that to your average SEIU member.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 10:56 am

You aren't helping anyone. You are enabling illegal activity; This is all about you not paying a decent wage, not paying payroll taxes, not paying benefits - what crap!

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 9:33 am

I typically pay $12 to $15 an hour, and provide iced drinks and toilet facilities.

What do you do to help them feed their families?

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 9:48 am

Obama lied about Deportations

In FY2013, out of 368,644 alleged deportations/removals, only 133,551 illegals were deported/removed from the interior of our country.

the other 235,093, so-called deportations/removals, were border-turnarounds.

Until Obama, border-turnarounds have never been counted as deportations, nor should they be.

for Obama to tout 368,644 deportations/removals is called OUTRIGHT LYING by the American people ...

The reality is that in FY2013, only 133,551 illegal immigrants, 110,115 of which were previously convicted criminals, were deported, by Obama, from our United States.

Obama's FY2013 actual deportations were the lowest number of deportations in over 15 years.

03-31-2014 68K undocumented immigrants with criminal records released in 2013: report

872,000 previously ordered deported illegal immigrants are still in our United States, now referred to as "fugitives from justice."

Posted by GuestForums4Justice on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

The Triplane Fokker DR-1 will print in red, black and brown. One,
because it made up most of the episode's running time.
I am not trying to be sexist, in my opinion and experience; boys learn to fold more paper
airplanes than girls do.

Posted by Jaunita on Jul. 16, 2014 @ 7:13 am

In FY2013, out of 368,644 alleged deportations/removals, only 133,551 illegals were deported/removed from the interior of our country.

the other 235,093, so-called deportations/removals, were border-turnarounds.

Until Obama, border-turnarounds have never been counted as deportations, nor should they be.

for Obama to tout 368,644 deportations/removals is called OUTRIGHT LYING by the American people ...

The reality is that in FY2013, only 133,551 illegal immigrants, 110,115 of which were previously convicted criminals, were deported, by Obama, from our United States.

Obama's FY2013 actual deportations were the lowest number of deportations in over 15 years.

03-31-2014 68K undocumented immigrants with criminal records released in 2013: report

872,000 previously ordered deported illegal immigrants are still in our United States, now referred to as "fugitives from justice."

Posted by GuestForums4Justice on Apr. 05, 2014 @ 1:58 pm
ESL

Reyna no talk the English so nice. Another City College triumph.

Posted by Chromefields on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 10:35 am

The only people who support illegal immigration are pro-capitalist conservitards like John Mccain and all of the other "immigration reform" (aka corporate welfare because how dare they have pay a living wage) supporters.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 3:14 pm
Posted by Guest on Apr. 07, 2014 @ 3:29 pm

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