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Demonstrators gather on Valencia Boulevard

Posted: July 19, 2014 9:44 p.m.
Updated: July 19, 2014 9:44 p.m.

Richard Cowell of Valencia, left, holds a sign while standing with a small group protesting illegal immigration on Saturday.


Valencia Boulevard served as both the metaphorical and literal dividing line on the issue of illegal immigration and the recent border surge this weekend, as demonstrators on both sides of the issue turned out to state their positions on Saturday.

As thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children have poured into South Texas, community leaders from Dallas to Los Angeles to Syracuse, N.Y., have offered to set up temporary shelters to relieve the Army bases, holding cells and converted warehouses at the border.

The outreach offers stand in sharp contrast to other places around the country, where some protested having immigrants from Central America come to their towns while the nation’s leaders attempt to find solutions to the issue.

The two sides set up on either side of the Valencia Boulevard overpass on Interstate 5 on Saturday. About 15 to 20 people stood on each side.

On one side hung a banner that read, “repatriate illegal aliens,” surrounded by demonstrators who waived signs reading, “stop illegal immigration.”

On the other side, demonstrators waived signs declaring that “xenophobia sucks” and urging “compassion for all children.”

Both sides waived a collection of American flags.

“President Obama’s administrative amnesty, he’s basically told the world that if you come here he will not deport you,” said Greg Aprahamian, a protester. “So we’re getting a wave of illegal immigrants — 50,000 in the last two months — and he’s resettling them in relocation centers all over the country.

“We’re here to say no,” he continued. “We want the illegal aliens repatriated.”

Berta Gonzalez-Harper, who said she is a first-generation American born of two legal immigrants, said those who want to come to the United States must do so legally.

“Our resources must be for those people in this country legally, whether born here or naturalized or on visas or whatever,” she said. “But not people who have trespassed our borders, thumbed their nose at our laws and demanded rights that I, a native-born American citizen, do not get myself.”

On the other side of the road was another side of the issue.

“These kids are refugees fleeing dangerous situations,” said Carole Lutness of Valencia. “They have a right to due process; they have a right for their case to be heard by a court so that it can be determined whether or not they are given sanctuary.”

Alberto Posadas of Murrieta echoed the point.

“If we don’t want that due process, then we should change the law,” he said. “But until that law changes we have a human tragedy on our hands and we need to abide by the law.”

Saturday’s protest was scheduled as one of hundreds throughout the nation in conjunction with the “National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty and Border Surge,” according to organizers.

More than 57,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended since October, the Border Patrol says. Three-fourths of them are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and say they are fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty. By the time they have reached South Texas, they have survived a treacherous journey through drug-war-torn Mexico.

President Obama has asked Congress to authorize $3.7 billion in emergency spending to increase enforcement at the border, build more facilities to temporarily house the unaccompanied minors, and beef up legal aid. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has said the government will entitle due process but will not guarantee a “welcome to this country with open arms.”

Signal Photo Editor Dan Watson and The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.


ricketzz: Posted: July 20, 2014 9:19 a.m.

Obama is only pushing amnesty for people who came here prior to 2007. The refugees are fleeing gang terror.

Nitesho: Posted: July 20, 2014 9:53 a.m.

Keep telli your self that Ricketzz's...keep telling your self that. It strilll won't make it true.

timothymyers02: Posted: July 20, 2014 10:01 a.m.

Nice to see that Berta Gonzalez-Harper is spending her weekends with White Nationalists!

IndigoBlueUSA: Posted: July 20, 2014 11:42 a.m.

Nice to see that timothymyers02 is as ignorant of true facts, as those from "La Raza" reconquista group! What right do you have to judge a first-generation US Citizen born to legal immigrants for their views??? As a fellow first-generation US Citizen born to legal immigrants from Latin America (who speaks Spanish, English and Italian; is dark-skinned with brown hair and skin), I 100% concur w/ Berta Gonzalez-Harper, as you are clearly unaware of the struggles one must go through to legally immigrate to another country, and to then watch millions flout the laws and procedures your family had to endure to have the same equal standing as US Citizens. My parents and siblings went through hell to legally immigrate to the US, and followed the laws accordingly, not once jumping the queue like these selfish individuals trespassing on our shores.

As a first generation native born US Citizen, I take great pride in defending these laws and rights which you seem to set aside for the new modern slavery (yes, slaves and slavery, as that is what illegal immigration equates to). As a nation we are bankrupt, both financially and morally, and yet you and others happily push for Amnesty and more illegal immigration. You really should ask yourself why???!!!

Illegal Immigrants are not law abiding, as they commit identity theft, suppress the living wage, steal employment from able bodied citizens and legal residents and have no respect for the rule of law. The problems of Central America are NOT new!!! There are no sudden crime waves occurring there. What has occurred is simple word of mouth that Obama has granted Amnesty to Illegals via DACA, and whether or not they actually qualify, they know full well that they will NOT be deported in masse; just as the near to 20+ million here illegally already (yes, 20+ million, as you should always double the official count as that is a conservative count based on apprehensions, and most apprehensions are minimal compared to those who stay) won't get deported.

So we not only have a humanitarian crisis created by our current POTUS with his defacto Amnesty, but also a large Security Threat to the sovereignty of this great country!!! So please wake to the truth and face reality. Illegal Immigration is unconscionable and illegal based on Federal and International Law!!! --edited.

DMeyer: Posted: July 20, 2014 3:58 p.m.

Just like I commented in the earlier article, people who followed the rules and obeyed the laws and immigrated here legally are outraged by the illegal immigrant crisis we have been plagued with.

There is a process in place for people to come here, follow it and we will gladly embrace you. Break the law and cut in line in front of others who have been patiently waiting and you will no doubt draw some angry response, especially from those who did it the right way.

Allan_Cameron: Posted: July 21, 2014 12:58 a.m.

The life lived by most American kids in poverty, in gang infested areas, attending overcrowded schools, priced out of higher education, taught in many instances (not all) by the worst teachers in the public school system, often located in areas of toxic pollution (such as the Exide lead battery plant) is not as media genic as the kids at US borders.

More information about these kids at the border, and the truth of why and how they got where they are is needed. They should be given safe shelter, and then sent home. Perhaps United Nations military action, making their home countries safe for each countries kids should be implemented immediately.

My father had a price on his head when he sought to become a US Citizen. He came from a country torn by revolution, and his only "crime" was that my grandfather was the secretary of the treasury in the overthrown government.

Dad slept in doorways, had no money, and nearly starved. What saved him was a Methodist Minister who employed my father, and sponsored him to become a US Citizen. Although Dad was totally broke, he was a degreed electrical engineer, a well known concert pianist, and spoke seven languages fluently. He played organ and piano for the church until his chance to come to the US came through.

Dad died a proud, legal American Citizen.

If the children of the United States, (out of the headlines) are loved and cherished, then we shall have an example we can hold up to other countries that they might follow.

ricketzz: Posted: July 21, 2014 10:27 a.m.

These kids aren't from Mexico, could care less about crappy American jobs. They are fleeing a failed state. That is where refugees come from.

chico: Posted: July 21, 2014 10:34 a.m.

Who in their right mind would just send their kids off without some sort of promise?

I doubt they were they promised their kids would be sent back home if 'caught'.

ohhyaa: Posted: July 21, 2014 10:36 a.m.

Illegal immigration isn't right and certainly isn't fair to other children and families who live in far worse circumstances like those in Nigeria, Somolia, Gana, etc. I blame Obama for this mess.

Bobs: Posted: July 21, 2014 12:34 p.m.

The conditions in Central America suck. I travel to Mexico and Central America for work quite often, and it is real sad. I cannot blame them for wanting to leave, though in truth many are happy to stay there. Most of them definitely have a different way of looking at life as most of us do in the US.

That being said, forgetting all other concerns, and there are many other serious concerns, our infrastructure cannot handle it. The government plans roads, schools, hospitals, etc based on how many people live in an area. I know in the San Fernando Valley this is already an issue. I've seen estimates from a few hundred thousand to a million illegals living there. A friend of mine's son goes to elementary school there, and his class has over 60 kids in it. They are just not equipped to handle more.

frankjustice: Posted: July 21, 2014 1:56 p.m.

Get involved people! Register at numbersusa to be informed about events like this and other ways you can help.
The people who organize these events want and need your support. It was sad to see only 50 or so people show up to this rally over the 4 hour span.
Do it for your kids, do it for your grandkids. They will feel the effects of this far more than we will.
Our country simply cannot survive the mass importing of uneducated third world poverty.
Turn off the nightly news, they are lying to you. Find alternate sources to educate yourself on the subject.
For over 40 years I have witnessed The transformation of my place of birth (san fernando valley)from a suburban paradise to a third world gang infested cesspool. This is now taking place in cities all over the country.
Wake up people, immigration reform is a sham. Demand strict enforcement of our current immigration laws.

projalice11: Posted: July 21, 2014 8:48 p.m.

Very few Demonstrators gather on Valencia Boulevard ***

I wonder why???

ricketzz: Posted: July 22, 2014 9:57 a.m.

There has only been a "process in place" since we decided to play eugenics by quota. This country was booming before we turned KKK and decided Asians couldn't possibly have more to offer besides coolie labor. Immigrants go to work. They are less likely to stay on the dole than many native sub-species. They will contribute and make us all richer for it. Plus we can sleep at night.

The refugee situation globally is out of control. There are camps of 200,000+ in places, with open sewers and no A/C. We shudder at the thought of 50,000 good looking kids who are fleeing pimps and pushers (a product of the War on Drugs). I blame Harry J. Anslinger. And Dick Nixon.

Allan_Cameron: Posted: July 22, 2014 12:51 p.m.

This issue needs more scholarship. I do not know what I should about this. A story in another outlet indicated that a huge percentage of the kids in question were coming to join one parent already in the United States.

I have no idea is that is true. If it is, a question emerges. What parent would abandon their kid, go off to another country, and then allow their kid to experience what some of these kids are reported to have experienced in making the same journey as their parent, only alone?

"ricketzz" makes reference to "Many native sub-species", in reference to people likely to "stay on the dole".

"ricketzz" could you please elaborate with precision exactly what you mean with the use of these terms?

What does your description of these kids as being "good looking" mean in the context of criteria for United States Immigration Policy?

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