Protesters for and against immigration reform amnesty and the recent border surge gathered on opposite sides of the Valencia Boulevard I-5 overpass for simultaneous demonstrations on Saturday.
A single demonstration was initially scheduled as one of hundreds across the United States in honor of what event organizers are calling National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform Amnesty and Border Surge, but Santa Clarita residents in opposition to this cause worked quickly to organize a counter-protest.
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Both sides held American flags and signs in support of their cause, and countless vehicles driving by slowed to read the signs or honked their horns in response.
“Word has spread around the world that if you come here, President Obama will not deport you,” said Greg Aprahamian, event organizer for the protest against immigration reform amnesty. “In the last couple months, we’ve had over 50,000 people bringing their kids here, and the federal government is taking these recent illegal aliens… and embedding them into our society and into our country.”
A large banner reading “Repatriate Illegal Aliens” hung behind approximately 20 protesters next to an American flag, and volunteers handed out informational flyers to pedestrians.
“We’re telling the government, no– we do not want this,” Aprahamian said. “We want those people repatriated. They have no right to be here and they’re being allowed in for cheap labor and to support… people who profit from them being here.”
On the other side of the street, about 15 people gathered in opposition, arguing in favor of what Kristin Ingram-Worthman, one of the event organizers, called “refugee children.”
“Obviously, we feel it’s bad to be against immigration,” said David Barlavi, who organized the counter-protest with Ingram-Worthman on Friday. “But it’s especially bad to be against children and to want to send them back to a country that they fled from because of abuse and violence against them… George W. bush passed the Child Trafficking Protection Act, which said that children who flee violence, abuse and trafficking– like these children are –are not illegal; they are absolutely legal refugees eligible for asylum.”
Barlavi stated their group would remain on the freeway overpass until the protesters across the street left.
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