Multiple nonprofits, including unions and immigrants rights groups, are traveling to Salem on Jan. 14 to participate in the United for Immigrants Rights Rally. Set a week prior to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration, the march intends to address anti-immigration sentiments, and the organizations are vowing to stand united against President-elect Trump’s discriminatory agenda.
Phil Carrasco with Grupo Latino de Accíon Directa is orchestrating a trip from Eugene to Salem. He says the march will not only support the Latinx community, but they’ll also be denouncing any policies that may be created at the federal, state or city level that target particular groups of people.
“We do believe that a lot of these policies being proposed are really based in hate and funded by hate groups and xenophobic groups.” And, he says, they also believe that the right to be in this country and walk freely is an exclusive privilege.
Carrasco says there’s been a call to repeal the state’s sanctuary status, which would allow the federal government to use state resources to enforce immigration policy. He says the effort could possibly show up as a ballot measure.
This is not the first time a state law that affects immigrants would be addressed in the form of a ballot measure. In 2014, Measure 88 failed to garner enough votes to grant driver cards to all Oregon residents, though the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 833, which permitted Oregonians to apply for driver cards, regardless of their immigration status.
Ultimately, SB 833 never went into effect.
Many people who do not have legal status in the U.S. pay taxes, funding roads, schools and other state resources, Carrasco says. “It’s important that it’s not just Latino-centric organizations participating,” he says.
Organizations representing health care, working families and labor unions are among the participants. Carrasco says these groups acknowledge that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
Around 500 people are expected to attend, with 2,000 interested in the Facebook event. Carrasco invites anyone interested in attending and carpooling to contact him.
He adds that the event is “part of a national day of action to defend immigrant rights and to denounce Trump’s agenda of hate and exclusion in our state.”
The United for Immigrant Rights Rally is 11:30 am Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Capitol building in Salem. GLAD is on Facebook at latinocommunityactiongroup. And for carpool information contact Phil Carrasco at 541-337-6391.