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'They've been in this fight for far too long': Local farm workers rally for immigration reform

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Caroline Feraday
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KCLU
Farm Workers in Oxnard joined a nationwide call for immigration reform at a Day Without Immigrants Rally on Monday

Farm Workers in Oxnard joined a nationwide call for immigration reform at 'A Day Without Immigrants' rally on Monday.

Immigrant farm workers, families and activists gathered in Plaza Park in Oxnard on Monday morning, many skipping work, with a call to action on immigration reform.

The workers are using their voices at the "Day Without Immigrants" rally, to demonstrate their essential role in society and to voice their frustration with the lack of systemic federal reform, Giselle Cruz from UFW Foundation told KCLU.

"A lot of the workers here are farm workers and they have been in this fight for far too long," she said. "It's time for them to get the permanent protections. Some of them didn't go to work, because they wanted to highlight that and use their voice."

While undocumented migrants pay tax, they’re excluded from many government safety nets like unemployment benefits, and many of the same types of government programs that citizens can receive.

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KCLU
/
Caroline Feraday
The rally in Oxnard was part of a nationwide day of protests – pushing for immigration reform to be included in the Build Back Better budget proposal

"There are many undocumented people who have been here more than 20 years now. We are here to get the message across to the senate," said Cruz. She told KCLU that many of those gathered were leaving phone messages for senators.

Salvador Villasenor, one of those attending the rally, explained what it would mean to him to have a path to citizenship.

"Being here today asking for legalization would mean a better quality of life for my family," he said. "I'm fighting to be able to help my family and children to get a better life and to be able to see my family in Mexico."

The protesters formed a car caravan around the city of Oxnard, as part of the peaceful actions across the country today, which were pushing for immigration reform to be included in the Build Back Better budget proposal.