Salinas Residents Say They Are Tired of Waiting for Immigration Reform

Maria Ines Zamudio, Salinas Californian (Salinas, California), July 2, 2009

After getting off work, Rojas got ready and went to church not to pray but to organize with others and demand comprehensive immigration reform.

“We are tired of waiting,” the farmworker said in Spanish. “I’m a citizen now and [politicians] need my vote. We have to mobilize by any means.”

Rojas said she has family members who have been separated because of what she calls “a broken immigration system.”

She was one of the hundreds of farmworkers and community members from Salinas and around Monterey County who gathered at St. Mary of the Nativity church in east Salinas to ask U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, to push for immigration reform in Washington, D.C.

She was one of the hundreds of farmworkers and community members from Salinas and around Monterey County who gathered at St. Mary of the Nativity church in east Salinas to ask U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, to push for immigration reform in Washington, D.C.

“My heart is with the people who better this county with their labor,” Farr told the audience in Spanish. “I need an army of people. . . . We are changing this country to fulfill the dreams for everyone and not just a small group. I’ll be your voice in Washington.”

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Wednesday’s community meeting in Salinas followed action by the Obama administration which launched investigations of hundreds of businesses around the country as part of its strategy to focus immigration enforcement on employers who hire illegal workers.

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