A call for immigration reform at May Day march


A crowd of residents marched from Rengstorff Park to City Hall on Thursday evening, May 1, calling attention to problems created by the country's immigration policies.

About 115 people joined the annual May Day march, carrying signs that said "Immigrants enrich America" and "Just and humane immigration reform" and "keep families together" among others.

"What this march means for me is hope for the community," said Sahara Velez as the marchers rounded El Camino Real onto Castro Street. "As a community we can fight for our citizenship."

Some in the crowd said American economic forces and policies were causing a sort of "forced migration" to the United States, and put some blame on the North American Free Trade Agreement for causing poverty in Mexico.

But it's not always for jobs that people leave Latin America, Velez said. She said she no longer felt safe in Mexico after she was kidnapped and held for ransom there. After her release, she decided to seek out her brother in the U.S., even though it meant crossing the border illegally. "It feels safe to live here," she said, explaining that she now works as a live-in nanny in Los Altos. "I am very lucky to be in this position. I can't be there anymore because I will feel insecure."

Resident Wendee Crofoot said immigrants deserved a "clearly defined path to citizenship similar to how my family came eight generations ago."

Velez says she is trying to get her citizenship, having applied before she came, but "it takes forever," possibly 10 years or more.

Sunnyvale resident Kevin Morales was carrying a sign that said "The parties change, the injustices continue." He noted that President Barack Obama has "deported more people than any president before." He added that Democrats say fixing the problem is a top priority, "but so far they've done the exact opposite."

When asked what motivated him to march, one man simply said "Have you ever had your entire family separated?" and declined to say anything more.

When marchers arrived at Civic Center plaza, they were met by live music and church choir, which sang "De Colores", a tradional Mexican folk song that was sung by the United Farm Workers Union during its heyday.

Former Mayor Laura Macias read the poem by Emily Lazarus engraved on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Macias, now president of Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose, said immigration defines "who we are as a country" and said there is no such thing as a "zero generation American." If you've come to the U.S. "you are a first generation American."

Former mayor and state Senator Sally Lieber encouraged the crowd, saying "Don't give up before the breakthrough!" She said she believed that California would soon begin to issue drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants again.

Day Worker Center director Maria Marroquin, who went on a hunger strike a year ago, was jubilant all day despite the relatively small turnout this year. "This is one of many steps we have to take together" she told the crowd.

Margaret Capriles was the only candidate for in this year's City Council race to accept an invitation to speak at the rally.

"The special thing about Mountain View is its diversity," Capriles said. "I just hope we can make sure every one of you can vote." She thanked Marroquin and Pulitzer prize winner and former Mountain View resident Jose Antonio Vargas for keeping immigration issues in front of people.

When asked by the Voice if she would follow Marroquin's suggestion that the city pass an ordinance allowing non-citizen Mountain View residents be allowed to vote in local elections, she said, "I would love to."


Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on May 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

It's almost over.

Makes me fear for the future.

Assume for the moment that only bright, motivated and ethical persons come flooding into our country.... bringing T.B. and other illnesses in, UGH.

Get ready third world.... here we come

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

"if she would follow Marroquin's suggestion that the city pass an ordinance allowing non-citizen Mountain View residents be allowed to vote in local elections"

There are roughly the same number of legal permanent residents in California as undocumented immigrants.

Like this comment
Posted by Legal Immigrant
a resident of North Whisman
on May 3, 2014 at 6:36 am

What really makes me mad is that these felons get to cut in front of the line. It's not easy to immigrate lawfully, and it's insulting to those of us who did so that these invaders are to be treated with the same respect afforded those of us who cam here legally.

Incidentally, Mexico has the tightest immigration laws in North America: in order to emigrate there, you need to take a test that is given only in Spanish, prove that you will never be dependent on their social welfare system, and renounce all political activity for life.

Like this comment
Posted by think
a resident of North Whisman
on May 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

9/11 would not have been possible if we had enforced our immigration laws. The hijackers violated their visas and they had obtained illegal drivers’ licenses, which allowed them to take flying lessons.
We don’t need amnesty that will only make things worse for the United States and it citizens. We already have too many homeless, jobless, and underemployed. Rather than extending unemployment benefits we should require e-verify to check all current and potential employees. When someone has illegally obtained a job, then he/she should be removed and that job should be given to a veteran and/or US citizen.
Illegal immigrants are using false and stolen ID's, which is a felony that citizens of this country go to prison for and congress believes they can pardon felons and make them citizens. Why not pardon people who make undocumented withdrawals from the bank (robberies) or pardon people who take/sell undocumented drugs (illegal drugs)?
We will never be able to control our borders or stop illegal immigration unless we use e-verify for jobs, housing and other benefits. Why would anyone quit breaking into the candy store as long as they know that once they break-in they can eat all the candy they want without any consequences?
If MasterCard and Visa can track transactions down to a fraction of an amount in different currencies around the world, then we should be able to track employment status, visa violators, and Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid fraud through e-verify.
The US is the most generous country concerning immigration, but with the millions of jobless and homeless US citizens we cannot afford the number of illegal immigrants who refuse to wait their turn and instead jump the border/visa/line and then take jobs and services that US citizens desperately need. Give those jobs to veterans and all US citizens!

Like this comment
Posted by Don Honda
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm

The LA Times recently posted an article that shows that the Obama administration, the Illegal Alien lobby, and the major media outlets have been in collusion to depict the "high" deportation numbers. The exact opposite is true since the beginning of the current President's policy. Interior deportation has and will be lower than 1973 rates. This is leading towards more people overstaying their visas and currently, more Illegal Alien minors crossing the border. Obama has just recently instructed border patrol to not turn back those Illegal Aliens on record as having entered illegally as priors, but to let them pass IF they don't have a major criminal record. After the first Illegal Entry, it is a felony each time thereafter.

Web Link

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by RealThink
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

911 was caused by the polices of Bush and his goons. His family needed to appease his saudi oil buddies and actually let bin laden's family flee the country. At the same time, his political party are such international ***holes that they create world hatred against our entire country.

Here's a lovely tidbit that was overlooked in the disaster:
Web Link

If you really want to solve the terrorism problem, then just vote against the Republican party at each election. That will also resolve our economic woes.

Its. That. Simple.

Like this comment
Posted by Dennis
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 4, 2014 at 12:25 am

Fact: one third of our prison population are illegal immigrants. Check it out yourself, especially those of you that believe illegals are here just to "enrich" America. Answer this also; why the continual rise of diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and TB?

Like this comment
Posted by RealThink
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 4, 2014 at 1:20 am

"Fact: one third of our prison population are illegal immigrants. "

Another way to read this statement:

"Most criminals in this country are US citizens"

Like this comment
Posted by @ think
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Very well said!!

@RealThink - you are living in a false reality, provided by a liberal media.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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