Arts & Events

Press Release: Little Ones, Latinos and Labor Celebrating Cesar Chavez in Berkeley with a Community Forum on Immigration

From the offices of Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin
Tuesday April 09, 2013 - 09:11:00 PM

On Thursday, April 11th, the City of Berkeley will be holding a community forum on immigration.

The event features little ones (fourth graders), Berkeley’s three Latino elected officials and a labor leader who served in the White House.

The event starts at 7:00pm and will be held at the Berkeley Adult School at 1701 San Pablo Ave. There will be live music, food and guest speakers, including Maria Echaveste, the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff on Federal Immigration Policy Reform, Rodrigo Guzmán, the young Berkeley boy who found that he was unable to return home after a family vacation to Mexico, Alejandro Soto Vigil (Rent Board), Jesse Arreguin (City Council), and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler (School Board). 

This year's Berkeley Chavez Commemoration is focused on immigration and is cosponsored by the Alameda County, Central Labor Council and BAHIA. President Obama introduced a proposal for comprehensive immigration reform, and with thousands of people and families being deported each year, including in the East Bay, it is a critical time for a community conversation on this important issue. 

Recently a case close to home has highlighted the need for immigration reform. A fourth grader at Berkeley's Jefferson Elementary School, Rodrigo Guzmán, and his family were unable to return to the United States in January due to an expired visa. They have been told by ICE that they cannot get a new visa for five years. While the family is barred from coming back to the US, Rodrigo's classmates have organized a campaign to lobby officials to allow Rodrigo and his family to come back to Berkeley. The April 11th event will feature Berkeley elementary student activists working on the Save Rodrigo campaign and help raise funds for them to go to Washington to lobby officials on Rodrigo's case and on immigration issues. 

April 11th, 2013 at 7:00pm, Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave, to honor Cesar Chavez.