Pro-immigrant groups in Los Angeles are gearing up to make Inauguration Day an opportunity for thousands of people to protest against the 45th president of the United States.
City records show the Los Angeles Police Department has already granted special-events permits for two immigrant-rights marches downtown on Jan. 20. And organizers in Boyle Heights say they are applying for what would be a third anti-Trump march the same day. All three marches are scheduled to converge at around 1 p.m. in front of City Hall.
Over the past month, the Trump White House transition team has made a series of moves hinting strongly at a draconian turn for enforcement of federal immigration policy. Trump and his pick for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, retired Gen. John Kelly, have reportedly asked the DHS to provide preliminary assessments on construction of a border wall, resumption of a drone surveillance program at the border and expansion of holding capacity at immigration detention centers.
L.A. organizers say the marches are intended to push back against Trump's hard-line proposals — which include canceling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an executive order under President Obama that provides temporary legal status to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth.
“The great fear is that that program would be canceled, and that would immediately affect 750,000 of the applicants that have that work permit and more than a million of their relatives,” says Nativo Lopez, a senior adviser to Hermandad Mexicana Nacional and a march organizer.
The Trump team not only has expressed support for canceling DACA, it also has asked Homeland Security to vouch for the reliability of federal records on DACA recipients — a request the agency has interpreted as an inquiry into whether federal employees are protecting DACA recipients from deportation.
The California Latino Congreso is calling for an Inauguration Day rally at 1 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and Olympic Boulevard in downtown L.A. The Latino Congreso is an alliance of immigrant advocates and supporters including L.A. City Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Gilbert A. Cedillo. After the rally, supporters will march to City Hall.
A flier for the protest calls for demands against deportations and in favor of DACA, and of legalization for the undocumented.
It will be a full day of protest; the LAPD special events calendar indicates there will be an earlier rally starting at 10 a.m. on the same corner of Broadway and Olympic. That march will be convened by a group called the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, which will likewise march to City Hall.
In Boyle Heights, community activists will convene a rally at 11 a.m. in Mariachi Plaza, at Boyle Avenue and First Street. The protest is sponsored by Centro CSO, a group based in the neighborhood. Carlos Montes, an organizer for Centro CSO, says it is important to rally opposition to Trump in the traditionally Mexican Eastside.
“We’re struggling for equality for people of Mexican descent here in California,” Montes says. “And we include the Central American people as well. The great majority of raids and deportations are of Latin people, and mainly Mexicans.”
After the rally in Mariachi Plaza, protesters will march through Boyle Heights and across the river to La Plaza Olvera, then on to join the Latino Congreso protest at City Hall. Montes says his group has an application for a marching permit pending with the city.
The swearing-in of Donald Trump has elicited other calls for political protest in L.A., in addition to the marches for immigrant rights.
A group called CA for Progress is calling for a “United Against Hate-Inauguration March” downtown from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The specific location has not been announced.
Also, there will be a “Rally to Save Roe” on the day before Inauguration Day, Jan. 19, at 4 p.m. on Fairfax Avenue between Clinton Street and Rosewood Avenue, according to LAPD's special-events calendar.
And on the day after Inauguration Day, on Jan. 21, there will be a “Women's March” gathering in Pershing Square at 9 a.m. and departing for City Hall.