Mothers Protest for Protections in UndocuMother's Day March & Rally
About 50 people attended the UndocuMother’s Day march and rally on May 12, at MacArthur Park in downtown Los Angeles at 4 p.m.
The Consecha Los Angeles organization organized the event that attracted both U.S. citizens and immigrants. The organization aims for “the permanent protection, dignity, and respect of all immigrants in the greater Los Angeles Area,” according to their Facebook page.
This event focused on the struggles undocumented mothers face and how immigrants experience Mother’s Day. Claudia Treminio, a Salvadoran immigrant, organized the event. She came to the U.S. when she was only 12 years old. “Most of the population will be celebrating [Mother’s Day] with their mothers, feeling happy," Treminio said. "Our immigrant community does not share that sentiment.”
When asked why the event was created, Treminio said, “We are creating that platform that isn’t there for our stories to be elevated, for our stories to be heard, and to try to fight back against that racist and hateful rhetoric that this president continues to spread about our communities.”
After stories were told, a group of 50 people headed east bound on W 7th St towards the 110 freeway. As the group continued walking, they chanted messages such as, “Shut down ICE,” for a mile until they reached the freeway while two people were carrying a large banner that read, “Permanent Protection Dignity & Respect for Undocumented Mothers."
As the group approached the 110, they looped around the block northbound as they reached the bridge that over looks the 110 freeway on Wilshire Boulevard. Three attendees took off the wooden poles that had been secured on their large banner and placed it over the freeway overpass facing south. The group overlooked the cars driving down the freeway as many drivers honked and waved in support.
The group headed back to MacArthur park around 6 p.m., where DACA recipient Fernanda Madrigal walked with her five-year-old son in hand. She came to the U.S. 18 years ago. “Today, we wanted to highlight the struggle of undocumented mothers, especially the sacrifices that many of them make, especially for their children, for their better life."
Madrigal said that life as an immigrant mother is scary, especially when she sees border patrol officers. “Sometimes, I see them on my way to drop off my son to school," she said. "So, if I have my son, it’s [like], what’s going to happen to my son… am I going to pick him up today from school?”
Growing up with undocumented parents brought fear to Madrigal. “As a child, having undocumented parents, it’s hard because you don’t know if you’re going to come back home and see your parents there or not,” she said. “So, there was always the fear that I would go to school and I might come back and my mom might not be there, she could have been stopped by the police on the way to pick me up and then you know that could mean deportation.”
When asked what advice she would give to other undocumented mothers, Madrigal said, “One, we have to continue with our lives and we need to not allow them to intimidate us, cause this is definitely what they’re doing. And to tap into within the power that we have as a community, [be]cause that is the only way that we’re going to gain that respect and that dignity and especially community protections, so that way we can go to the grocery store and not fear being separated from our families.”