Over 1,500 marchers from around California descended on the Capitol on Wednesday March 15, seeking to pass SB 54: The California Values Act which would significantly prohibit local law enforcement from coordination with federal immigration agents. While many cities and counties have sanctuary policies, this bill would make it a state law and shield many immigrants from mass deportation efforts of the federal authorities. The bill is strongly opposed by the Association of County Sheriffs who manage county jails and receive federal funds for their cooperation.
The massive demonstration on Wednesday was organized primarily by PICO of California and supported by immigrant rights organizations up and down the state. The events began at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento in Sacramento, and then marchers proceeded to the Capitol to hear a rousing support speech from the President of the California Senate Kevin de León.
PICO is a structured multi racial organizing project with roughly equal participation and leadership from African American, Mexican, Latino, and Anglo religious traditions.
After singing civil rights songs in English and Spanish, and hearing speeches, the crowd entered to Capitol chanting One People: One Fight. Delegations to legislative office insisted on the passage of SB 54, and SB 6 that would provide funds for legal defense of immigrants, as well as SB 31, the Religious Freedom Act which would prohibit any state agency from collecting information on religious affiliation and sharing that federal authorities – such as in creating a Muslim list.
DSA Honorary Chair Dolores Huerta participated in the rally and Dolores Delgado Campbell of DSA’s Immigrant Rights Committee was interviewed by Univision at the event.
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