Immigrant organizers protest, hold conference, and attempt to obtain release for IE detainees

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Photo/Anthony Victoria: Former Adelanto Detention Facility detainee Carlos Hidalgo speaking to the public during a press conference at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in San Bernardino on Aug. 16.
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Dozens of immigrant rights organizers convened at the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) field office in San Bernardino Tuesday morning to again highlight the issue of immigrant detention.

The rally and ongoing conference marks a “Week of Action” where organizers will have discussed immigration issues, marched in protest, hosted workshops, and spotlighted individual stories of struggle; the conference was slated to wrap up on August 20.

Organizers are marking the fifth-year anniversary of the opening of the Adelanto Detention Facility that houses upwards of 2,000 male and female immigrants. Detainees there await resolution of their cases, which will decide if they are allowed to stay in the U.S. or deported back to their home countries.

Carlos Hidalgo, who was previously detained at Adelanto believes immigrant rights organizers must better inform the public about their plight.

Photo/Anthony Victoria: A crowd gathered on Tuesday to show their support for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, as others denounced the detention of immigrants.
Photo/Anthony Victoria: A crowd gathered on Tuesday to show their support for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, as others denounced the detention of immigrants.
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“This is dear to my heart,” he said. “I lived it. We need to emphasize the fact that immigrant rights need to be taken seriously.”

Pro-immigration right advocates stood on one side of the building, while anti-illegal immigration protesters stood 30 feet away on the opposite end.

“We’re here because these people are treading on us,” said Bill Kezar of Chino. “Many Americans have been murdered by illegals.”

Raul Rodriguez of We The People Rising believes Americans should be supportive of ICE’s operations. “We’re here to show support for ICE, for keeping Americans safe, and keeping illegals out of our country.”

Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice Executive Director Javier Hernandez said immigration advocates have a different message–one that focuses on unity and humanity.

“Many of us have been here for 20, 30 years, and will continue to live in this country,” he said in a loud voice. “We’re here because we believe every human in detention should have dignity…we are here to say that our communities matter.”

Five Hondurans apprehended, detained

The week of action follows the recent August 4 detention of several Honduran immigrants who were alleged to have counterfeited documents and committed other crimes.

According to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) press statement from August 12, investigators–in conjunction with the Pomona Police Department and ICE–placed 12 individuals under arrest at two apartments in Pomona and Montclair.

As of August 12, seven of the twelve remain in custody–among them identified as Orlin Bladmir Diaz Orellana, Eber Virgilio Bonilla Lopez, Henry Josue Bonilla Lopez, Lexi Rosibel Bonilla Lopez, and Joel Bonilla Lopez–and are hoping to be released, according to organizers, with the help of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ).

Photo/Anthony Victoria: Immigrant rights advocate Erika Paz showing solidarity by holding a sign that reads, "Immigrant Power."
Photo/Anthony Victoria: Immigrant rights advocate Erika Paz showing solidarity by holding a sign that reads, “Immigrant Power.” The rally and ongoing conference marks a “Week of Action” where organizers will have discussed immigration issues, marched in protest, hosted workshops, and spotlighted individual stories of struggle; the conference was slated to wrap up on August 20.

“We’re urging for ICE to release them,” said Hernandez. “There was no reason for them to be taken.”

Luis Nolasco, a community engagement and policy advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Southern California office, believes the DMV, in his words, made a “huge mistake.”

“These people have no criminal history,” he said. “And there hasn’t [sic]  been any charges filed against them. We’re trying to receive some clarity as to why they are being detained.”

The DMV also said that their operation, “was not connected in any way to the immigration status of the suspects.”

ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice said on Monday that she could not provide further information about the matter, referring all questions to the DMV.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I was present, as a member of We the People Rising. I must correct your reporter: we are against ILLEGAL immigration, NOT legal immigration. Most people held in ICE detention facilities have a criminal record. IF there are problems with any detention facility, we should rectify them NOT shut down the facilities—otherwise even more criminal illegal aliens will be released into our communities. All the faces on our quilts display just a few of those killed by illegal aliens!

  2. If you are illegally in the U.S. you are not welcomed by the citizens anymore than we are allowed illegally in your nation. You are stealing from the American taxpayer taking advantage of us! But I guess having no integrity is easy?

  3. Immigrant Power? The sign should read “Invader Power”! That is what is really going on in our once great Nation. Wake up America, you too – Congress! It’s called National Security.?

  4. Blessings and salutations to our guests! It is unfortunate that our lovely land cannot provide a home for every person who wants to come here, but we are badly overcrowded already, and our country needs immigrants like it needs cancer. Help us help you by returning to your barrios lejos, lindos, y queridos and making your countries great again! Why be strangers and aliens, watching your children reject your values and beliefs, and ultimately becoming Gringos y Gringas, totally unfamiliar with the language, customs, and faith that you hold so dear? By reducing your population to a sustainable number you can make the land you left behind into a wonderful, peaceful, cultured and prosperous place, where your proud and happy descendants will honor you for your wisdom. When the population of Mexico is about one-sixth of what it is today, Mexicanos will not be living in a world where half the population wakes up every morning thinking about how they are going to exploit and abuse the other half. ?Donde esta su orgullo? La Vuelta a su pais sera el empezando de la victoria de la raza!

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