Youth Voices: Make the City of Coachella a Sanctuary City

By Olivia Rodriguez

Our communities are under attack, and our safety is threatened. Our communities in the Eastern Coachella Valley are vulnerable because there’s already a lack of safe spaces and resources for our immigrant community.

Like many here, I grew up seeing la migra on a daily basis patrolling our homes. When we are threatened with walls and deportations what’s at stake is the separation of our families, the separation of our communities.

Our immigrant communities are the foundation of this nation, many who sacrificed everything by crossing man made borders so that their children could have a better life.

Our immigrant communities are the foundation of this nation, many who sacrificed everything by crossing man made borders so that their children could have a better life. They’ve contributed greatly to this nation and in return they yet are not given the credit or paid adequately or treated justly for their contributions.

I am the proud daughter of immigrant parents, the ones who’ve pushed me to go on with chants of si se puede. Their love and daily sacrifices is where I pull strength para echarle ganas y seguir adelante. When they threaten immigrant communities they threaten my source of vida and our existence. Sin la comunidad inmigrante esta nación no es nada, what’s at stake is our tomorrow.

When they threaten immigrant communities they threaten my source of vida and our existence.

For me sanctuary status would be a guarantee of our safety. Officials and leaders at every level need to make public statements that they will take action and put into writing that they stand with our immigrant community. They need to state that they don’t stand with the separation of families, that they don’t stand by policies that have given them the license to racially profile and criminalize and that they will not comply or share information with immigration agencies.

If we have all of our local officials and leaders in our community make public statements and put their words into writing and action for me it will make me gain some newfound hope that all politics isn’t just carefully crafted piece of words but that those elected people are actually there for our gente and it will make our efforts that much greater.

Check out this video from Youthwire of young people advocating for sanctuary status in communities across California. 

 

About the Author:

Olivia Rodriguez, 24, is from Thermal, Calif. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a Biology degree. One of her favorite places in the Eastern Coachella Valley is the Mecca Park where you can find her playing basketball. At the end of a long day she loves spending time with her family in their garden enjoying a cup of unsweetened chamomile or hibiscus tea. View her author page here.

 

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