As activists, politicians, leaders and immigrants did a quarter of a century ago, this Saturday dozens gathered in the Five Points of East Los Angeles to remember the place from where the battle began to defeat the racist and discriminatory policy of former Republican governor Pete Wilson and his Proposition 187.

In 1994, California voters approved the measure that would have prevented undocumented immigrants from accessing non-emergency medical education and services. After litigation in court, the proposal was declared unconstitutional.

“It was amazing to witness how the people of California turned their backs on Latinos,” said Francisco Moreno, a member of the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM). “It was the most criminal law against Latino immigrants; Unfortunately, it is now the federal government that qualifies us that way. ”

From the intersection of Lorena Street and César Chavez Avenue, dozens of people made the journey that thousands made to the Los Angeles City Hall, when they realized the danger of that law enacted by Wilson.

“The united people will never be defeated!”, “Here we are and we are not leaving and if they throw us we return!” And “People listen, we are in the fight”, were just some of the cries of protest.

“I leave because my son (Florentino) has not yet been able to fix his papers,” said Olivia Medina, an 82-year-old Michoacan woman, and a member of the Hank Lacayo National Brotherhood of Oxnard.

“I have been fighting for immigration reform for 15 years, and although we have not achieved it, the worst is how they are treating us; this president (Donald Trump) thinks that this country is his own and wants us to leave. ”

Olivia Medina, 82, attended the event.

Yesterday, Olivia, in addition to members of the 2020 Coalition and the Coalition of Full Rights for Immigrants joined together to reaffirm their historical repudiation of the policies of racism, division and discrimination – they say – currently emanate from the White House.

“The formula to overcome the National Proposition 187 that Trump embodies is to do the same thing we did in 1994 when we joined together like never before in history when we saw the danger of the criminalization of immigrants,” said Juan Josee Gutierrez, president of the Rights Coalition Plenary for Immigrants.

"On that occasion the learning process was extraordinary because of the awareness, politicization, mobilization and organization to defend ourselves and now we must not forget those glorious days when it was announced that Pete Wilson's law was unconstitutional." he added.

The activist mentioned that, although many celebrated the defeat of Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant sentiment did not die.

"The Trump Administration's policies are a reminder and a call to all of us that we still have a lot of work to do before we can be sure of being free of dangerous policies that this president is pursuing," he added.

"We must unite as never before and go out to the streets to make it clear that we will do whatever it takes to safeguard the promise and vitality of the United States Constitution."

"My dad said he didn't like Pete Wilson because he didn't want to give Mexicans a chance to progress and that wasn't fair because they are the best workers," said Rosa Medina, daughter of Agustín Medina, an immigrant from Pénjamo, Guanajuato and resident in East Los Angeles.

In the march the closure of immigration centers was also requested

"Our children were born in this country and have rights that no one can take away from them, except the president (Trump)," added Héctor González, Rosa's husband, who rejected the idea that immigrants represent an expensive public charge for the United States.

“I, as a warehouse worker, take away state and federal taxes every fortnight and even if I don't want to, I can't say anything because it's the law and we all have to pay, whether or not we have papers,” said Héctor.


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