SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Dozens of people came to the busy intersection of Main Street and Broadway Street in downtown Santa Maria on Monday afternoon to voice their frustrations and fears about local immigrant workers and federal immigration policy.
An alliance of local immigrant worker advocacy groups and labor unions, including the California Teachers Association, the UFCW Local 770 and the United Domestic Workers, joined forces for a "day of action" in support of the National Day of the Immigrant and International Day of the Worker.
Many of those who participated are protesting against the Trump administration and its immigration policies including stepped-up enforcement of ICE and the Border Patrol.
They say undocumented immigrant families in Santa Maria -- many of whom have at least one family member working in local farm fields -- now live in constant fear of deportation either from ICE or local law enforcement.
The demonstration and rally is also to call attention to state Senate Bill 54, also known as the California Values Act, that if passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, would make California a "sanctuary state".
The demonstration was peaceful and orderly and local law enforcement did not intervene.