Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles was covered with a sea of white T-shirts signifying peace and unity May 1, while American flags were held in the air, showing the desire of many people wanting to be a part of the American society.
“We want to embrace this country,” said a demonstrator with a loud and clear voice. “Open the doors for us and you will be proud.”
“I would not put myself into so many dangerous situations and would not take the risk of losing my life if I had a good and a reasonable way of living and surviving back in my own country,” said Lucia Alvarado, 38, who came to America from Mexico, crossing the San Diego border when she was 16.
Alvarado came to the United States in 1984 and was arrested while crossing the border. She spent three days in jail. She does not recall the name of the jail, but she describes her experience as “sad and hard as [one] could imagine.”
Alvarado explained that most people have never endured such hardships that most immigrants have had. “I’m sure they would’ve done the same thing (immigrating to the neighbor countries) if they didn’t have enough food or a reasonable living condition.”
The demonstration affected many businesses, as many immigrants refused to work or buy anything. Yesenia Servantes, 14, from Mexico said, “We want to show how important the immigrants are in this country’s economy.”
Education is another important issue brought up by many immigrants. Griselda Gomez is a GCC student who participated in the demonstration, considering education to be a huge issue for the Latino community.