Activists have been occupying the detention center in downtown L.A. since June 26. People are camping out in tents in protest of immigrant detention.
The driveway of the detention center.
The detention center.
“I’m here because I was raised by immigrant women and I know that if my family wouldn’t have had the same access to this country, my life and their lives would have been severely impacted and would have involved a lot more suffering.
I hope that [the protests] will raise awareness to people who are in the middle, to show that them being in the middle—that being silent or not coming out for immigrant families that are being torn apart by this administration—is really just the same as siding with this administration. I think it’s also important to be out here to show our solidarity for the families who have been torn apart and are being housed in cages right now so they’re not alone.
I think that in this country especially it’s important to recognize those individuals’ rights because we are on stolen land from the indigenous communities that have been nearly eradicated through genocide and it’s crazy to think that our administration and this country feels like people should have different rights because they came here at different times even though we all, except indigenous people, are immigrants to this country.
A lot of the speakers today were remarking that they’re not asking for open borders when we ask for a humane approach to asylum seekers, but I am saying open borders. I feel like for a country as rich as ours with such vast resources and with so much harm that we’ve inflicted on other countries that have led to people fleeing their countries, particularly in Central America, we should be approaching an open borders immigration policy to rectify all the shit that we’ve done to these other countries.” –Erika Thi Patterson, as told to Madeline Keyes-Levine
“I’m here with my parents and I think this is just our way of doing something. We feel pretty powerless right now, especially with all the news about the Supreme Court, so this is just our way of getting out there and saying, ‘This is how it should be, families should be together, and this is bullshit.’
I think it’s simply a human rights issue. I mean, these are people who are fleeing domestic violence, gang violence, gun violence–the most dire situations you can think of. These people are risking everything to come here. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t come up with a better way to welcome people here because our current system is completely backwards, expensive, and inhumane. It’s just important to me as a human that people not die because we won’t open our doors to people who are clearly just seeking asylum.
I think it’s interesting that a lot of people are saying “My family did this LEGAL way” and I think, Yeah, my great grandfather when he came here did it the legal way. It was just: don’t have an infectious disease, sign your name in a book, and congratulations, you’re in. It’s completely not applicable to now, when you have to have a green card and to get a green card you have to do XYZ. You have to fit into these boxes that most people who are fleeing violence aren’t going to fit into if they don’t have family here already or they don’t have a job. A lot of these people are here already, it’s not like we don’t have enough room. It seems like it’s purely racism.”–Mollie Goldberg, as told to Madeline Keyes-Levine ♦