5 LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Protesters Arrested After Shutting Down Intersection in Santa Ana

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Marilynn Montaño / OC Weekly
Activists in symbolic cage before arrest
Calling on Santa Ana to end its jail contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), trans and queer immigrant activists shut down an intersection in the city yesterday morning. A symbolic cage set up on Civic Center Drive and Boyd Way housed those who staged civil disobedience as part of the action. After an hour-and-a-half, SanTAna police gave a dispersal order. The majority of the activists took to the sidewalks of the intersection chanting "Liberation Not Deportation" and other messages of support as police took the five cage activists into custody.

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Loretta Sanchez to Obama: "No More Deportations"

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Rep. Gutiérrez looks on as Sanchez speaks from the podium
Anaheim played host to an immigration town hall last Friday night hosted by a number of reform advocacy groups. It was there that Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez did the previously unspeakable by uttering sweet Aztlanista words into the mic. Before a packed crowd at the Betsy Ross Elementary School auditorium, the lawmaker publicly pushed President Barack Obama on his administration's record deportations.

"I would just like to say to the President: Ya basta, Señor Presidente," Sanchez declared at the end of her speech, "No more deportations en nuestras familias."

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Orange County DREAM Team Pushes for Health Coverage of Undocumented Residents

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Despite the frothing mouths of Know Nothings, the reality of Obamacare is that it leaves undocumented immigrants uninsured. The Health Care for All Act seeks to remedy that exclusion in California. If signed into law, the Senate Bill wouldn't consider immigration status for enrollment in Medi-Cal. It would also create a health insurance program similar to "Covered California." As the proposed legislation makes its way through Sacramento, the Orange County DREAM Team (OCDT) is taking up the cause.

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Activists Rally Around Samuel Sixtos-Gomez, Nabbed by ICE and Facing Deportation, Separation From His 8-year-old Daughter

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Samuel Sixtos-Gomez and child
Samuel Sixtos-Gomez came to the United States as an 8-year-old. Now the father of a citizen daughter the same age, Sixtos faces deportation since he crossed without papers. The Santa Ana resident wanted to resume studies, earn his G.E.D. degree, and apply for Deferred Action (DACA) protection, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained him instead.

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An Open Letter to Loretta Sanchez by the Orange County Dream Team

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Photo by either Josue Rivas or Gabriel San Román--or someone else?
The Dreamers in action...
Here at OC Weekly, we're a proud Aztlanista front, so we're more than happy to run the following open letter by the Orange County Dream Team, that amazing group of undocumented students and their supporters who have been advocating for amnesty for (relative) ages. Their target this time around? Their favorite whipping pendeja: Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. Take it away, kiddos!

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Mexican Says He Violated U.S. Immigration Laws Only To Be With His Three American Kids

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Photo by Josh Denmark & courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
A line in the . . . concrete at San Ysidro, California
At the age of eight in 1987, Puebla, Mexico resident Lamberto Pedraza Sanchez saw his father abandon him to live in the United States.

Two years later, Sanchez's mother joined her husband and left the boy with an aunt, who ordered him to quit school in the sixth grade, refused to allow him to play soccer and forced him to work on a farm.

Without government permission, his parents brought him into the U.S. when he turned 14 years old and he still would be working Orange County menial jobs undetected by immigration officers if not for a family dispute.

He allegedly caught his girlfriend (and mother of his three kids) cheating on him in 2011, assaulted her in a moment of outrage and won a domestic violence conviction that ended with jail time and a 2013 deportation to Mexico.

Having been abandoned by his own parents at an early age, Sanchez refused to stay away from his own kids and, believing his 20-year residence here meant he didn't need a visa, returned to California, where fate handed him another ugly twist.

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Laguna Beach Human Smuggler Wins Mercy From Federal Judge

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City of Laguna Beach
Human smuggling port?
About two hours before sunrise in Laguna Beach on June 13, 2013, a Mexican man stood on the shoreline and used his cell phone light to signal the landing spot for a boat loaded with 23 foreign nationals--including a drug dealer--who wanted to enter the U.S. illegally.

But Jose Ricardo Paleta Tula's story isn't simply one of an organized crime soldier in a human smuggling operation.

Over the years, Tula repeatedly entered the U.S. illegally to help improve his family's impoverished condition, worked jobs, saved money, stayed crime-free except for lying to get a California driver's license, and eventually built his own small business in Mexico.

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OC May Day Coalition Renews Call for Santa Ana to End City Jail Contract With ICE

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Coalition member Theresa Dang poses with Chief Rojas as he gets photobombed!
Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas took his oath of office at last night's city council meeting, becoming SanTana's 20th police chief and the first Latino top cop in the city's history. But soon after the swearing in ceremony, Chief Rojas publicly acknowledged OC May Day Coalition members present in the chambers and alluded to the policy fight that awaits.

"We have our issues," Rojas said, pointing to activists standing up against a wall. In the packed house, they held protest signs calling on the city to end its collaboration and contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Evan Smith, Stanton Stepfather of an Army Soldier, Slated to be Deported Anyway

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Courtesy of Francisca Smith
Smith family photo
Evan Smith returned to his Stanton home last week after an overnight shift at the DoubleTree hotel. Rather than catch some sleep, the undocumented immigrant from Belize got taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite having a U.S. soldier stepson. Agents arrived earlier on the morning of April 30, startling sleeping family members with a rude awakening.

"They came knocking on the door," Francisca Smith, Evan's wife, says. "We were all asleep." Her daughter-in-law answered to agents asking for the man of the house--only he wasn't there.

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Santa Ana Officials Seek to Make Even More Money Off Immigrant Detainees in City Jail Contract with ICE

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JoEse Gloria
Getting the protest signs ready
The Orange County May Day Coalition (OCMDC) is all set and ready to go for its annual march in SanTana. Marking International Workers' Day, the downtown demonstration starting at 2 p.m. in Sasscer Park kicks off a political campaign with a familiar goal--ending the city's collaboration and contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). There's only one problem for activists revving up to continue last year's fight. According to documents obtained by the Weekly, city officials are looking to increase the amount of money they make off granting bed space for ICE detentions at Santa Ana City Jail to cover deficits.

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