In The News

8/16/22 CBS News Quotes We The People Rising OPPOSING CA State ID For All Illegals AB 1766

The morning of the arrival of the children, a group of four demonstrators from “We the People Rising” based in Clarmont ( was on hand outside the main Gate 1 entrance to Fairplex carrying placards including “Stop Child Trafficking” and “Secure Borders Save Lives.

”Robin Hvidston of Upland, the group’s executive director, explained why they are concerned.“We don’t know who is coming into our country,” she said, adding that the U.S. has its own problems in the areas of homelessness, child poverty and sex trafficking.

“We would like to see federal dollars spent Angelica Salas Congresswoman Judy Chu Bonnie Prestonon fixing the community instead of bringing more issues into the community,” she said.“They are not crossing the border legally. They are jumping the fence . . . to get into this country,” said member Raul Rodriguez, Jr., of Apple Valley.“Health and Human Services is spending millions of dollars on these smuggled children,” Hvidston said. “Why aren’t they spending that on our own foster kids? We have over 400,000 foster kids in the U.S.A. right now. Where’s the help for them? The children whose parents are in prison, there are millions, where’s the help for them? Our veterans. That money should be going to our own citizens.”

Daily Bulletin


San Diego Convention Center: Converted to Unaccompanied Minor Shelter
May 27, 2021

Roger Ogden of Patriot Fire organized a rally in front of the San Diego Convention Center, to protest the convention center being converted into a shelter to house the unaccompanied minors being flown to San Diego from Texas.

Roger Ogden was interviewed by Spanish Telemundo TV and KUSI TV.  Below are some screenshots of the rally from the Telemundo coverage.

Stella, Patrice Lynes and Robin Hvidston, screenshot from Telemundo coverage


Roger Ogden was interviewed by Telemundo and KUSI TV.  Below is a link to the Telemundo coverage.

More than 125 people with flags and signs rally outside the San Bernardino County Justice Center in efforts to reopen businesses during COVID-19 in San Bernardino on Friday, May 1, 2020. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

By Brian Whitehead | | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: May 1, 2020 at 1:51 p.m. | UPDATED: May 1, 2020 at 6:10 p.m.

A group of protesters rallied at the San Bernardino County Government Center Friday, May 1, pressing county officials for options to reopen nonessential businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Themed “Reopen San Bernardino County,” the grassroots demonstration at the North Arrowhead Avenue facility in downtown San Bernardino channeled the same message as rallies held in Orange County, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

“There should be options for reopening,” Robin Hvidston, executive director of the anti-illegal immigration group We The People Rising, said by phone Friday. “You can have industries require people to wear masks or take their temperatures before entering the building, social distancing, opening with guidelines.

“You can have the vulnerable populations continue to shelter in place,” she continued, “but not the entire county and not large populations that are out of work and healthy.”

Hvidston, the Republican candidate for the 41st Assembly District, said ahead of the rally she would wear a mask and practice safe distancing guidelines while exercising her Constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

And while she acknowledged the blowback similar rallies in Southern California and around the country have received in recent weeks, Hvidston called the statewide stay-at-home order “disorienting.”

On Friday, the county Board of Supervisors announced it would discuss lifting some restrictions on low-risk businesses at its meeting Tuesday, May 5. A county coalition focused on the recovery effort is working on a playbook for how to open businesses in a safe manner, according to board Chairman Curt Hagman.

“The isolation is very difficult,” she said. “We hope our county gives us some options. It’s May 1. Let’s start reopening businesses with guidelines and let people get back to work.”

Robin Hvidston’s published letter to the Editor in the Daily Bulletin.

Daily Bulletin

Published Letter to the Editor 12/6/19



Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Published Letter 3/6/18


Celebs, supporters of Dream Act face off with anti-DACA protesters

KTTV Fox Local 11 News Coverage of 1/3/18 DACA Counter Rally @ Senator Dianne Feinstein’s L.A. office

By: Zohreen Adamjee

POSTED: JAN 03 2018 09:59PM PST
UPDATED: JAN 03 2018 10:39PM PST

For many DREAMERS, or undocumented young immigrants fighting to stay in the country, their battle could depend a lot on what happens in the next few weeks in Congress.

Supporters and protestors of those DREAMERS clashed in West LA Wednesday in front of Senator Feinstein’s office.

Why now?

Congress has about two weeks to pass a long-term spending bill.

Democrats want any deal to go hand in hand with resolving DACA. Celebrities like Alyssa Milano, came out, backing the DREAMERS.

“I want to know this is at the top of her agenda, that the dream act now is going to be something she fights for and she gets out in front of,” said Milano.

But anti-DACA supporters showed up first, claiming the area in front of the building.

“There’s a saying, the early bird gets the worm, so we arrived early…We have homeless, veterans, unemployed Americans, and we believe they should be the focus of legislation not those here in our country illegally,” said DACA protestor Robin Hvidstom.

Police moved DACA supporters two blocks away for their rally.

Eventually, several DACA representatives weaved past protestors, to speak to Feinstein’s team
“We won’t be stopped,” said Milano.

Dreamers like Jonathan Cardona, says he doesn’t understand why protestors would  block them.
“We’re not here to take jobs we’re here to create jobs,” said Cardona.

Anti-Daca protestor Raul Rodriguez says he fears illegal immigrants pose a security threat though.
“We are against illegals coming into this country because they are not obeying our laws,” said Rodriguez.

But one of the requirements for DACA is that they cannot have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
DACA supporter Bradley Whitford pointed to the heart of the DACA program.

“They are the definition of patriotic Americans who are educated, who want to be vetted, who want to be a part of the great tradition of immigrants in this country,” said Whitford.

Now the DACA supporters who met with Feinstein’s team says they are committed to fighting for the DREAMERS.

Copyright 2018 FOX 11 Los Angeles : Download our mobile app for breaking news alerts or to watch FOX 11 News | Follow us on FacebookTwitter , Instagram and YouTube.

San Bernardino Sun


Front Page News…

San Bernardino County Sun

Demonstrators gather in San Bernardino to condemn Sessions’ withholding of funds to fight crime
Supporters and protesters of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' letter to the city of San Bernardino asking whether it's a sanctuary city, clash during an Inland Congregations United for Change press conference in front of city hall in San Bernardino, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Sessions is threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to cities, including San Bernardino, he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)
Supporters and protesters of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ letter to the city of San Bernardino asking whether it’s a sanctuary city, clash during an Inland Congregations United for Change press conference in front of city hall in San Bernardino, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Sessions is threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to cities, including San Bernardino, he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

Supporters and protesters of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' letter to the city of San Bernardino asking whether it's a sanctuary city, clash during an Inland Congregations United for Change press conference in front of city hall in San Bernardino, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Sessions is threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to cities, including San Bernardino, he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)
Darren Espiritu demonstrates his support for Attorney General Jeff Session’s letter to the San Bernadino Police Chief.

Supporters and protesters of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' letter to the city of San Bernardino asking whether it's a sanctuary city, clash during an Inland Congregations United for Change press conference in front of city hall in San Bernardino, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Sessions is threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to cities, including San Bernardino, he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally. (Photo by Rachel Luna, The Sun/SCNG)

By Alejandra Molina, The Press-Enterprise

POSTED: 08/04/17, 7:08 PM PDT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that San Bernardino would not be eligible for crime-reduction funding spurred a demonstration outside San Bernardino City Hall on Friday.

On Thursday Sessions sent letters to four cities struggling with gun violence, including San Bernardino, telling them they would not be eligible for a program that provides money to combat drug trafficking and gang crime unless they confirm their cooperation with immigration officials. The letter asks if correctional and detention facilities will honor a written request from the Department of Homeland Security to hold a foreign national for up to 48 hours beyond the scheduled release date.

In San Bernardino, that’s up to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, not the city. Regardless, the Sheriff’s Department, in a statement, said it can’t comply because it would be unconstitutional.

“San Bernardino is not going to be bullied,” said Kesha McGee, a lead organizer with Inland Congregations United for Change, at the planned demonstration.

McGee said the interfaith group wanted to show support for the San Bernardino immigrant community.

“We are a community of unity,” she said. “We all deserve to be here.”

Religious leaders from Inland Congregations United for Change and immigrant rights activists from the Inland area planned the Friday press conference outside City Hall to condemn Sessions’ announcement. Assemblywoman Eloise Reyes, D-San Bernardino, was at the event.

Roughly 75 people attended, including about 10 anti-illegal immigration activists. They held American flags, wore Trump shirts and “Make America Great Again” hats. One man with a megaphone continuously disrupted speakers by shouting, “No on 54,” referring to a piece of legislation that would prohibit the use of state and local public resources to aid federal ICE agents in deportation actions.

San Bernardino police kept the anti-illegal immigration activists away from the other protesters, asking them to stand at a distance from the planned speakers.

Darren Espiritu, of San Bernardino, stood beside the anti-illegal immigration activists. However, he said he wasn’t affiliated with any anti-illegal immigration group.

“I’m here not in a negative way, more in a positive way,” Espiritu said. “I’m here because I want to see my city come back from the abysmal condition that it’s fallen into.”

“We need help. We can’t just turn our back to the federal government, especially if they’re willing to help us.”

Inland Empire Community News
Groups in San Bernardino urging leaders to not be intimidated by Sessions’ threats
Immigrant rights groups and faith based leaders held a press conference at San Bernardino City Hall on Friday to denounce Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plans to withhold law enforcement funds to cities that don’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

“We’re here to send a message to the City of San Bernardino that we’re concerned about this letter sent by Sessions,” said Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice Director Javier Hernandez. “We’re asking the police department to stand their ground and not work with ICE.”

The Justice Department sent letters to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and four other cities, asking for proof of cooperation with immigration authorities. If the cities fail to comply with specific requirements, they risk losing their eligibility to participate in the department’s National Public Safety program.

Burguan said in a press statement Thursday that he would contact the Justice Department and inform them they cannot meet the desired requirements of holding immigrants past 48 hours and contacting ICE for custody because they don’t have a jail. That would be the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department’s responsibility, the chief confirmed.

Sheriff John McMahon confirmed that he’s willing to cooperate with immigration officials, but current law doesn’t permit them to do so.

About 70 people attended the demonstration to show support for the immigrant community, while approximately a dozen anti-illegal immigrant activists affiliated with We The People Rising countered with shouts of “No on SB 54” to denounce proposed state legislation that aims to bar law enforcement agencies from collaborating with ICE.

We The People Rising Executive Director Robin Hvidston said she agrees with the spirit of Sessions’ letter and is asking Chief Burguan to uphold immigration authority.

“I do hope [Chief Burguan] and city officials pay attention to this and be of spirit to upholding our laws,” Hvidston expressed. “I do think [illegal immigration] contributes to crime.”

Sergio Luna believes any efforts from the federal government to withhold funds is unethical. He’s urging the Mayor and Common Council to not get intimidated by Sessions’ threats and continue its focus of reducing crime through the Operation Ceasefire program.

“We just need to keep focused and continue moving forward,” Luna said.

Rabbi Hillel Cohn of Congregation Emanu El hopes city leaders will continue to focus on making San Bernardino a place that respects the right of all, including those who have migrated to the U.S.

“We in our city have experienced difficult times and no doubt will experience difficult times in the days and months ahead,” Cohn said. “Let us never become entangled in bigotry, intolerance, and stray from the basic ideals that have made America great.”


Read the link to Robin Hvidston’s published editorial response here:  

Anti-illegal-immigration group the Remembrance Project out again to support Trump
Speaking ahead of Donald Trump at his Anaheim rally was the Texas-based group the Remembrance Project, which also appeared onstage with the Republican presidential candidate at his Costa Mesa rally in April .
The nonprofit, which according to its website has been operating since 2009, bills itself as a group of “advocates for families whose loved ones were killed by illegal aliens.” The group is led by conservative activist and former Texas congressional candidate Maria Espinoza, who told the Riverside Press-Enterprise at an event this month that Trump “is a listener” and was the only one of the Republican presidential candidates to speak with members of the Remembrance Project.

The group wrote an open letter to the GOP candidates in March, writing in part:

“Violent illegal alien crimes, especially crimes resulting in the killings of American citizens, are like none other in our system of legal justice. In every case, the perpetrator was in the country illegally, enabled by a government unwilling to protect our nation’s border and enforce current laws. We are aware that not all candidates have clearly promised to secure the borders, however, there is some very important unfinished American family business that urgently needs your attention.”

Espinoza told the Press-Enterprise that Trump was receptive to her group’s message.

“Leaning forward, he listened intently as our families, one after another, told him thank you for speaking out,” she told the newspaper.

As they did for Trump’s April rally, Espinoza’s group came with banners depicting victims of crimes allegedly perpetrated by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, part of an initiative called “The Stolen Lives Quilt.”



‘DREAM loan’ funds college for unauthorized

Mugshot of Tatiana Sanchez
By Tatiana Sanchez | 9:54 a.m. Feb. 13, 2016

Officials at California’s four-year public universities are reaching out to an estimated 10,000 undergraduate students who might qualify for a special loan aimed at reducing their tuition — a program that further distinguishes the state as a national trendsetter in providing services to unauthorized immigrants.

The California DREAM low-interest loans are designated for unauthorized immigrant students enrolled at University of California or California State University campuses. The program was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, but funding didn’t become available until now.

It’s the latest in a series of measures that the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Brown have approved in their push to help unauthorized immigrants integrate into mainstream society.

They have ushered through legislation that enables this population of Californians to obtain driver licenses, eliminates the word “alien” when describing unauthorized immigrants in the state labor code and expands access to health care for children of such parents.

Critics said these actions only spur more illegal immigration, hurt law-abiding taxpayers and reward individuals who should not be granted any privileges because they have violated this country’s rules.

The California DREAM loan program’s initial $7 million allotment — $5 million for the UC and $2 million for CSU — will be distributed to eligible applicants in the following weeks. The state provided half of the sum and the two university systems covered the other half. The loans are for the 2015-16 academic year, and they’re retroactive to last fall.

The UC system will divide the $5 million among its nine undergraduate campuses, with the amount for each school based on the number of qualified students there, UC spokeswoman Claire Doan said.

She estimates that UC San Diego has about 200 unauthorized immigrant students.

The Cal State system will take a similar approach with its campuses, which include San Diego State University and Cal State San Marcos. About 250 students at Cal State San Marcos are eligible for the loan, according to a spokeswoman for the school.

Each qualified student can borrow up to $4,000 for this academic year at an interest rate of 4.29 percent. Once they graduate, borrowers must begin repaying their loan after a six-month grace period.

Future funding is contingent on money being available from the state budget, according to school administrators.

Supporters of the loan program said it could erase significant financial barriers for unauthorized immigrant students, who cannot receive federal grants or federally subsidized loans.

“It helps alleviate the burden for undocumented students, many of whom are often forced to take quarters/semesters off or take on outside jobs to offset the cost of tuition,” Doan said.

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, creator of the California DREAM loan program through Senate Bill 1210, said: “I’m very proud of the fact that California has always led when it comes to providing much-needed resources for our undocumented student population — understanding that they are here, that this is their home and that many of them were brought here not out of their own volition.”

Lara, D-Bell Gardens, has helped advance immigration-related legislation for several years, including passage of Assembly Bill 540. That law allows non-resident college students who meet specific requirements, including unauthorized immigrants, to pay in-state tuition and fees instead of the far-higher expenses for out-of-state students.

Students who fall within the parameters of AB 540 are eligible for the California DREAM loan program.

Opponents of the program said it wrongfully rewards people who shouldn’t be in the United States in the first place.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform in Washington, D.C., said the program’s funding should instead be used to help law-abiding families in financial need.

“There are a lot of people in California who are struggling. Their kids want a good education. Even with the availability of federal loans, it doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of these many families,” he said.

Robin Hvidston, executive director of the Claremont-based group We the People Rising, said public money is being abused.

“These taxpayer-funded loans should be available to veterans who have served this nation. Why not aim this program to specifically help American foster care children? This is discrimination against U.S. citizens who are not able to partake in the program,” Hvidston said.

At least 18 states have policies that permit unauthorized immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates, according to an October report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sixteen of those states, including California, have done so through legislation.

In addition, California is one of five states that allow such students to receive state grants for higher education, the legislatures group said.

It’s unclear whether any other state besides California has a higher-education loan program for unauthorized immigrants.

Zenén Jaimes Pérez, policy analyst for United We Dream, the country’s largest immigrant youth-led organization, said California has set a national precedent in establishing rights for unauthorized immigrants.

“When I travel to other states, a lot of folks are wondering, ‘How do we get to where California is?’” he said.

The movement supporting “DREAMers,” as youths living in the U.S. illegally are often called, took off more than a decade ago and has grown to become a focal point of the immigration debate.

They’re currently part of the spotlight on a case involving the U.S. Supreme Court, which is preparing to review an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. That measure would provide a temporary waiver from deportation for up to 5 million unauthorized immigrants and expand a program that granted various rights to “DREAMers.”
Bishop speaks up for ‘human dignity’ of migrants, refugees
Head of the Inland Catholic diocese leads 10th annual migration Mass, while protesters warn of dangers from uncontrolled U.S. borders.
San Bernardino Diocese Bishop Gerald R. Barnes called on Catholics to stand for the rights of migrants and refugees at the 10th annual migration Mass on Sunday, Jan. 10, at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella.
“Our dignity comes from our God … No one, no law, no politician, no fear, no attitude, no government, no gang, no terrorist can take that dignity away,” Barnes said.
Hundreds attended the Mass amid a contentious climate over immigration in which Central American immigrants have been targeted for deportation and Syrian refugees have been linked with terrorism. The Mass was held outside because of the large crowd.
Barnes presided along with Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio del Riego and Cardinal Roger Mahony, who formerly served as archbishop of Los Angeles. In English and Spanish, Barnes focused on migrants and refugees who left their country because of violence, war and persecution.
“They want a future for their families. They want to see their families live,” Barnes said. “They want what each and every one of us wants for our families and what is given to us by our God, and that is life.”
“What harm have they done, these migrant brothers and refugees, to want to escape what is bad in their land – death, hate, persecution?” Barnes added.
Barnes said just as it was historically wrong to not welcome German, Italian and Japanese immigrants, it’s wrong today to discriminate against Central American migrants and Syrian refugees.
However, not everyone agrees that the church should focus on welcoming refugees.
Robin Hvidston of We the People Rising, a Claremont-based group that opposes illegal immigration, said churches should first attend to American citizens. She attended the Mass with Raul Rodriguez Jr., from the group America First Latinos, who during the Mass held a sign that read, “Help Americans First!”
Hvidston said American citizens in need, including veterans, the homeless and children in foster care, should be the church’s priority.
This year’s Mass comes a month after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, which many say has instilled more fear toward immigrants because shooter Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistani, was allowed into the United States on a K-1 fiancée visa.
Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, fatally shot 14 people and wounded 22 others in the Dec. 2 massacre at the Inland Regional Center.
Concern also had arisen over letting Syrian immigrants come to the United States in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks in November.
And two refugees from Iraq were arrested on terrorism-related charges Thursday in Sacramento and Houston, where the Texas governor called for an end to the resettlement of refugees from countries overrun by terrorist groups.

Migration Mass attracts large crowd in Coachella

People gathered at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella

Mauricio Pena, The Desert Sun10:52 p.m. PST January 10, 2016

Tiffany Nguyen Tran, 68, remembers the fear as she sat in a small-fishing boat with her husband, three children, and 40 other people escaping Vietnam in July 1979. For nine days, Nguyen Tran wasn’t sure whether her family would make it out alive.

Despite her fears, Nguyen Tran felt it was “better to die at sea than live under an oppressive government.”

Now, 36 years after the boat ride that ended in a rescue by a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean, the Corona resident said she sympathizes with the refugees seeking asylum from their war-torn countries around the word.

“For some people leaving is the only option,” Nguyen Tran said. “If they stay in their countries, they could be killed.”

On Sunday, Nguygen Tran was among several hundreds of people from around Southern California that gathered for the 10th annual Diocese of San Bernardino’s Migration Mass at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella.

The service, a culmination of National Migration Week celebrated by the Catholic Church each year, called for unity and the acceptance of refugees from across the world.

“Today we focus on our brothers and sisters who have had to leave their countries,” said Bishop Gerald Barnes of the Diocese of San Bernardino who presided over the service along with Cardinal Roger Mahony.

“They had to leave their country because of brutal violence, because of war, because of persecution, because of starvation…” Barnes said. “Their lives were in jeopardy.”

The US bishops have asked the federal government to allow the resettlement of 200,000 people annually, including 100,000 slots for the “most vulnerable refugees fleeing violence in Syria,” according to a news release.

“We must open closed doors and fight xenophobia,” Barnes said. “These people want to see their families live. They want what each and everyone of us wants for our families.”

During the opening procession, hundreds of parishioners from congregations around southern California watched as immigrant families from Vietnam, Central America and Mexico carried posters illustrating their journey.

Brenda Hernandez, a volunteer at Our Lady of Soledad, called the service a blessing for the Coachella Valley.

“We are a community of immigrants,” the 25-year-old Coachella resident said. “My parents are immigrants. This Mass is dedicated to the struggles immigrants face for a better life,” Hernandez said. “It’s meant to open peoples eyes.”

A national debate on whether to accept Syrian refugees has continued following the November terrorist attacks in Paris. More than a dozen Republican governors across the country objected to the resettlement of Syrian refugees into the US.
Members of We the People Rising, a Claremont-based group opposed to illegal immigration, held signs in front of Our Lady of Soledad that read: “Put our Americans First” and “Help Americans.”
Robin Hvidston, one of the eight protesters, said the church should first help American citizens.
“Our message to church leadership is that we need to help the people suffering in our country first,” Hvidston said. “We should put our focus on the homeless, the veterans, and foster care first.”

For parishioners, the message of acceptance was clear.

Margaret Henschel, 68, of Riverside, made the hour-and-half drive to Coachella with her husband Louis for Sunday’s Mass recognizing the plight of immigrants from around the world.

“This is a nation of immigrants, and we are all children of the same God. It’s all about love, peace and acceptance,” she said.



Constituents a secondary concern for Rep. Torres?

Re “U.S. Rep. Norma Torres meets and supports newly arrived Syrian families” (Nov. 25):

Rep. Norma Torres was praising Syrian refugees she met with on Nov. 27. So she was encouraging settling people in the Inland Empire from Islamic terrorist regions just days before the second most deadly terrorist attack occurred — right under her nose!

Torres also voted no to the House of Representatives bill to limit refugee resettlement to the United States. Instead of seeking to achieve a safer homeland, Torres is busy promoting open borders and immigration from dangerous lands.

Sadly, Torres is encouraging U.S. refugee resettlement for Syrians as American families are homeless, veterans live in poverty and millions of Americans are looking for a job.

In the name of public safety and the welfare of the community, constituents must vote Rep. Norma Torres out.

— Robin Hvidston, Upland

25th District CA Congressman Knight faces happy and unhappy Constituents (opposed to amnesty).

By George Miller

Two different events with two different objectives collided Friday night on Los Angeles Avenue in Simi Valley, the south end of the 25th Congressional District. Congressman Steve Knight (R, Palmdale) threw an open house/party for his constituents, celebrating his new Simi Valley office with a ribbon–cutting, speeches by local dignitaries, one-on-one one conversations with constituents, a table full of food — and a protest by anti-amnesty activists who say Knight sold them out on amnesty after promising to help them. Knight claimed that he didn’t vote for amnesty and never supported it. However, the group provided us with an undated Immigration Letter to California Republican Congressional delegates he signed which they say indicates otherwise.


While the ribbon cutting and festivities were very nice, the protest also included a couple of signs advocating impeachment of Obama and protesting the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP)  a proposed trade agreement approach which opponents feel would further drain jobs from the U.S. But everyone protesting was concerned about Obama’s “executive action” in accommodating, even facilitating, waves of illegal immigrants. Congress has put up only feeble resistance to this.



These seemed to be the only three objections to Knight’s incumbency raised at the event. He has cultivated an image of himself as a fairly Conservative Republican. In 2014, he easily swept away the Democrat contender for his job. The remaining two Republicans fought for the job in November, with Knight easily besting Ventura County veteran politician Tony Strickland, who ran in the 25th District after being beaten by Julia Brownley in the 26th in 2012, following the redistricting.



 Protesters barred from Knight open house

After introductions, speeches and the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new office outside, participants filed into the office upstairs. The building manager told protesters that they were not allowed to enter (watch Raymond Herrera video. MORE, MORE, MORE). But, some had no signs, looked like the general public and just walked in unchallenged. Some even talked to Rep. Knight personally. Others were literally stopped at the door, where the manager of the 45,000 sq. ft. building and others physically blocked the entrance, or upstairs at the suite entrance. We heard from two protesters that the manager called the Simi Valley Police and attempted to accuse them of “assault.”  Several bystanders disputed that (two told us so) and told the police so when they arrived. Police agreed and left.

It is understandable that Knight’s entourage didn’t want the circus of loud protesters with signs and megaphones in the very close quarters of the small, already crowded suite. Since Knight is a public official and since the public is paying for the suite, the building manager’s claim of private property she described to me sounded a bit shaky. Most protesters were not permitted to enter the building or no further than the hall outside the suite. From past observation of this group it was determined that they are strong activists (standing in the road blocking buses) but non-violent.

The group at the open house consisted of Knight’s entourage, Chamber of Commerce people, politicians, such as Mayor Bob Huber, Councilman Mike Judge, 2014 Congressional District 24  primary candidate Rafael Dagnesses, Santa Clarita Councilman Dante Acosta, Alan Ferdman and some members of the public.

The atmosphere was conducive to short one-on-one or small group conversations with Knight, his staff and other officials. There were no group presentations or Q & A.

I spoke with Bob and Christina Powers who talked to Rep. Knight about amnesty and came away believing that he hadn’t supported amnesty.


WethePeopleRisingLogoWe the People Rising

The organization present in force at this event and which attracted the most attention during last year’s huge wave of illegal immigrant arrivals and the Obama administration’s accommodation of it, is We The People Rising(WTPR), based in San Bernadino County. Most readers likely remember the huge controversy, when illegal immigrants were being bused by ICE from station to station in Southern California and Arizona to duck protesters. The group’s members physically blocked buses in Murrietta, making national headlines. WTPR has attracted members in this region, too, with quite a few district residents present. For instance, Greg Aprahamian, of Santa Clarita, is an active member of this group, led by Robin Hvidston.

Statement by Robin Hvidson, leader of We the People Rising:

HR 240 and the Steve Knight Vote

KnightEvent 072

Congress Members in our state of California, such as Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and Congressman Tom McClintock, did not vote for the final version of HR 240 that REMOVED the amendment to defund Obama’s executive immigration plan. Steve Knight chose – as 1 of the 75 Republicans who voted yes – to cast a vote alongside Rep Luis Gutierrez and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to fund DHS without the defunding amendment and, therefore, the House of Representatives, ultimately, did NOT exercise the power of the purse to legislatively stop Obama’s immigration plan.
So when Steve Knight claims he did not vote for amnesty, he is playing a word game.  Obama’s immigration plan to legalize millions of illegal aliens cannot go forward without funding. Steve Knight’s yes vote, on the final Senate version of the DHS spending bill, provided the funds for the Obama immigration plan to be fully implemented.
I was very disappointed that Steve Knight approved of a DHS funding bill that did not restrict funding for Obama’s executive overreach. Congress has the power to stop Obama. A no vote to the version the Senate sent back to the House of Representatives, by Steve Knight, would have sent the message to Obama, and to Steve Knight’s constituents, that CONGRESS is the branch of government that legislates and crafts immigration laws – not the president.

It is interesting that the protest groups, although nowhere near as large as the organized amnesty groups at some other events, are getting larger and at this event might have exceeded Knight’s own group in size.

The group is a fairly diverse mixture of white, brown, black and yellow members. We might run a future article about some of its members.


Knight faces protesters

To Congressman Knight’s credit, he came outside afterward (see photos) to engage the protesters to defend his position on immigration-related votes. He said he has never favored amnesty (The group disputes this- see: Immigration Letter) and in fact did not vote for amnesty. He said that there were four versions of the HR240 bill and the final one he voted for and was passed did not address amnesty. Some thought this was sophistry and called him a liar or a traitor to his face at this encounter Friday night, while some of Knight’s staff and supporters waited by him uneasily, trying to get him to leave.  Most other Republicans, all but 75 actually, such as Tom McClintock, voted against HR240 because it didn’t specifically defund amnesty-related activities.

Knight threatens protester

At one time, the discussion got somewhat heated. To make a point, a protester touched Knight on the shoulder in what appeared to be a non-threatening gesture, after shaking his hand. Ex-policeman Knight immediately responded, with aggressive posturing:

“Mike, Mike, hey, if you touch me again I’ll drop your ass.”  Then he stated his case- See video below ….

Rep. Knight later described the incident differently to (on April 20), stating that Mike pulled him toward himself, then grabbed his shoulder hard to intimidate him.  One of the other protesters we talked to agreed with Rep. Knight’s view. Watch the video above and make up your own mind.

In essence, Knight said that the House tried to defund amnesty, but the Senate could only muster 54 votes (vs. 60 needed), so they sent it back to the House, which was only able to secure a one week extension. The House and Senate finally approved a bill with full funding, but Knight claimed he didn’t vote for amnesty. The protesters were unhappy with that. Later one of them asked what will be done going forward, which wasn’t answered.

Greg Aprahamian (in above photo and video, questioning Knight) has emerged as the most visible face of district opposition to de facto Congressional acquiescence to Obama’s “executive amnesty,” which his group asserts was done in direct in violation of the law and without even the fig leaf of an “Executive Order.” He became upset at the failure to enforce border control, employment law and other immigration law, then started monitoring the 2014 Congressional election campaign in his district and did not like what he saw.

At the time, there were two Republican and one major Democrat contender for the nomination. Aprahamian followed the campaign closely and showed up at campaign events and debates. He asked pointed questions about immigration policy of Republican candidates State Senator Steve Knight of Lancaster and former state Senator Tony Strickland of Moorpark. He felt that the responses were weak or unresponsive and documented that with video clips confirming it, which he spread widely. He also publicized candidate ratings by immigration law enforcement advocate group Numbers USA, which showed that both candidates did not strongly support immigration law enforcement. Knight then contacted Numbers USA and filled out their questionnaire in a manner which caused them to substantially improve Knight’s rating.  This might have provided an additional electoral boost for Knight in this fairly Conservative district. Aprahamian cries foul and believes that it was fraudulent, when viewed from the perspective of his subsequent actions in office.

Aprahamian wrote this article about the event and the situation.

GOP iconThe Republican Party

The party has attempted to stake out a middle ground on the illegal immigration issues, trying to give the impression that it is for enforcing the law, while simultaneously doing little to stand behind it. Some major Presidential hopefuls, such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, Who spearheaded Senate “comprehensive immigration reform bill S744, which passed the Senate and grants most provisions of what opponents label “amnesty,” are in favor of eventual amnesty for most illegals, although they would prefer that other language be used to describe it. They call it “a path to Citizenship.” But, it was stopped cold in the House of Representatives. Now the Conservatives seem to be a bigger majority in the House GOP delegation since the election.

One can only imagine the pressures that Rep. Knight and other Republican officials are subjected to, with major business interests and farmers pushing amnesty, backed by many millions of dollars. National, state and regional NGO’s (Non Government Organizations), immigrant rights groups, unions, political groups, lobbyists and other organizations push politicians in both directions on the issue.

There is evidence that much of the party hierarchy was open to “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is a code word for partial or full amnesty.  This was all thrown into question when it was discovered that a majority of voters want to reign in amnesty. Most are not against immigration, but believe that immigration laws are simply being ignored, that the numbers are too high for comfortable assimilation, with schools, prisons, hospitals, homeless population, poverty and costs all adversely affected by successive large waves of both illegal and legal immigrants crossing our borders.

While anti-amnesty advocates don’t bring large numbers of people into the streets like immigration advocates do so effectively, they have been very effective in letting officials know their views via letters, emails, calls and even visits, not to mention social media.  There is evidence that this all had a big effect on the 2014 elections, which broke records in the number of legislative and other seats which changed parties, although that is less true in California than most other states. In spite of all this, though, Congress in effect has acquiesced to Obama’s executive amnesty. There are strong constituencies of both sides.

Now, it is being fought out in the courts, with more than half the states suing the federal government over the policies. Their standing to do even do so is being challenged as this is written.

President Obama

The Democratic Party

The Democrats support widespread amnesty, with few exception for most of what they estimate are 11 million illegal immigrants (opponents say up to 30 million). Barack Obama himself has at least 22 instances on record when he said that he couldn’t override immigration law. Yet he has done just that increasingly over the last few years, culminating in his February “Executive Action,” done without cover of law and arguably in direct violation of existing multiple statutes. Even though some of his amnesty actions have been stayed by U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, the Obama administration has illegally continued some of its actions, according to plaintiff attorneys for the 26 states suing the federal govrenment  over alleged violations of immigration law. An appeal to that ruling by Obama’s forces is pending as this was written.

Many Democrats and some Republicans believe that we should let more people in, let the ones here already stay and bring in their whole families, on various grounds such as humanitarianism, international law claims, open border theories, declare some refugees and more.

Rep. Steve Knight

I have talked with the Congressman twice by phone, most recently on April 20. He believes that the protest group is more interested in confrontation and generating video footage than in engaging in meaningful dialogue, concluding with “I’m done with them…. If they send me a list of all their names, addresses and phone numbers, maybe we’ll talk.” He says that they come and disrupt his open houses but do not come to his townhalls which are a more appropriate venue for such discussions. He added  that the group (We the People Rising) thinks that there is a “silver bullet” for this and there isn’t. We the People Rising Robin Hvidston said she wasn’t aware of any such townhalls, but if they were, they would be there.

The Congressman said he read and voted for all four versions of the bill, does not approve of amnesty, has not read the  S744 “comprehensive immigration reform” bill, but is not in favor of the “comprehensive immigration reform” approach.

Knight’s own wife Lily, whom I met Friday at the event and talked with briefly, is an immigrant. Knight has memories of the difficulties in the legalities of gaining permission for her to be in the country. He described it as “incredibly difficult,” by design and made even more complex by attorneys. “It’s as hard now as it’s ever been…. attorneys make it complex…. they are the only ones who understand it and are making a ton of money with it.”

He said he would like to see immigration “fixed” and that 30 years after the Reagan amnesty, it is still a problem, that we need fixes not just on illegal immigration, but legal immigration, particularly in the legal procedures for gaining residency and  citizenship. He said it should be hard enough to weed out those unsuitable, but not so hard that it is nearly impossible. He followed up with “there’s gotta be something done …. I don’t have all the answers… we need more border security.”

When asked about limits on number of immigrants, he said that we already have a limit but the number coming in is far higher. He would not address what an appropriate number would be, or would he give a definition of what amnesty means to him.

He said he is “not against shutting down the government in certain cases… in certain circumstances, it’s not the worst thing… but you’ve gotta have a plan, something to gain” (by it).

Knight asked me if I thought Congress would be responsible for a government shutdown if amnesty defunding was passed. I responded that if Congress funded everything else but not that and the administration refused to sign the bill and then shut down the government, it would be on them, not Congress. He said, well 99% of the media in this country would disagree with you.

He said that they (Republicans) are dealing with a President who is 100% against their party. Knight said he “wants to do what is right, but obviously politics come into play.” He further said that he is approached often by “one issue groups,” but he and staff must deal with all issues- he just wants a conversation. He said if this is the biggest issue in the country, then it must be dealt with. He stated that his two biggest priorities now are Aerospace & Defense and business which are critical for his district and of great importance to the entire nation, He is on key committees to be more effective in those and is the author of small business legislation, HR1390. He mentioned that “9 out of 10 ideas” they act upon “come from the community.”

Rep. Knight’s positions on immigration, from

What about Julia Brownley and Lois Capps?

Other area Congressional reps, such as local Congresswomen Julia Brownley- CD-26 and Lois Capps-CD-24, have gone whole-hog for amnesty/immigration “reform,” yet have not attracted the kind of opposition that Knight and others, such as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, CD-23, House Majority Leader, have. Bakersfield area people such as Tea Party leader Tom Pavich, followers and many other Republicans have made it very clear that McCarthy’s immigration position is totally unacceptable. But McCarthy, who became House Majority Leader after Virginia’s Eric Cantor was forced out by his constituents, had no credible opposition in the primary and district Republicans/Conservatives weren’t about to vote for his Democrat opponent. Both CA Senators- Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer- are on board with “comprehensive immigration reform.”

We previously asked some activists why they weren’t protesting actions of Democrats such as Brownley and Capps, who are very strong supporters of amnesty in nearly all cases, except for the worst criminals. The response was that there was little hope to change their votes and the only solution is to get rid of them and simultaneously work on people like Knight who are closer to their views, which seems like a backhanded compliment to Knight.

KnightEvent 106

The State of California

The state has come down firmly on the side of illegal immigrants, preventing most action to deport them, granting drivers licenses, permitting de facto “sanctuary cities,” (sanctuary state, at this point), conferring certain benefits and is now attempting to pass 10 new bills to further this. Virtually all local state legislators are on board with this. Only Assemblyman Scott Wilk has shown any previous resistance to amnesty-related bills.  More on the ten bills HERE.

KnightEvent 101-1


We listened to the pronouncements of Rep. Knight on the subject (we also have talked on the phone), the protesters, various news, magazine, blog articles and interpretations of HR240 from some of these. The prevailing interpretation is that the legislation does not and is not preventing Obama from continuing to break the law.

However a federal judge has placed a stay on Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy/amnesty. He further said he was led to believe that the actions hadn’t begun yet, but then was shown evidence that it had. It may even be still proceeding as this is written.

There is also evidence that the administration is not only allowing immigrants to come in, stay in, be released after hearings with little chance of them coming back to court, providing financial incentives for them, providing information to help them here, issuing Social Security cards (about 500,000 already from what we understand), but is also even taking proactive steps to transport them to the USA, at taxpayers’ expense and concealing their disposition after arrival.

Rep. Knight says he has never been for amnesty, has never voted for it. Technically, the latter is true and provides splendid cover for Congressmen talking to constituents or running for re-election. But, the failure to take proactive steps to prevent systematic, widespread violation of the law is evident. The first line of defense of the law should be the Dept. of Justice, but it will not act and is in fact taking steps to support it. Loretta Lynch, candidate to replace incumbent Attorney-General Eric Holder has already indicated that she would support Obama’s executive actions on immigration, even though they appear to be in violation of the law.

However, HR 240, which I read in its entirety on Saturday, does have an interesting and very clear clause:

Sec. 546. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall ensure enforcement of all immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))).

We also know enough about complex agreements and budgets to understand that this document is very unstructured, difficult to understand, difficult to do a cost roll-up of, difficult to trace the trail of accountability and law supporting it, difficult to ensure that funds are properly allocated and subsequently tracked for compliance and easy to use discretion in use of some of the funds. In addition, it would be exceedingly difficult to trace the full impact of all the legal references and links in the bill.

Some say that what was needed was very clear language specifically forbidding the Obama administration from wholesale violation of immigration law. While I am not an attorney or an expert in legislation, after reading this very complex, very expensive, nearly chaotic bill, it looks as  though it would be possible to shift money around to do what Obama wanted, even though it would be in violation the above-cited  Sec. 546.

Administration attorneys say that the executive branch is granted wide discretionary power in interpretation of and prioritization of enforcement of the law. However, attorneys for the 26 states suing on this say that the administration is clearly flouting the overall intent and meaning of the law, not just on a case by case exception basis.

One point to consider is that different people have different definitions of what constitutes amnesty. Some believe it is only granting full Citizenship immediately. Some say it is merely allowing people to stay and/or making easier for people to come in by not enforcing immigration laws or border control, or employment, or benefits, or loosening those laws.

If in fact amnesty proponents are correct and that moral justification exists for mass amnesty and bringing in many millions more, that the huge social and financial cost would be worth it and that all such objections should be overruled, this would still legally first require legislation and with a high degree of consensus to support the radical transformation of our society which would occur were it to be fully enacted. Obama himself said this on at least 22 previous occasions– hear it in his own words.

Opponents say immigration laws should be enforced, not significantly changed and that aid, if any is justified, should be provided to would-be illegal immigrants in their home countries.



POSTED: 02/27/15, 11:16 AM PST

SAN BERNARDINO  As a deadline loomed Friday for Department of Homeland Security funding, a coalition of anti-illegal immigration groups took to City Hall in protest of President Barack Obama’s executive order providing amnesty for millions of undocumented immigrants.

Dozens of protesters from such local groups as We the People Rising and the Mountain View Republicans Club in Claremont, as well as the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, waved signs at passing motorists, chanting, “Americans first, close our borders!” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Obama’s gotta go!”

“We chose this day to make a statement: We’d still like to see the Senate and the House pass a bill that does not fund the Obama immigration plan,” said Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People Rising. “We feel America needs to come first. We’re not against immigration. We’re against illegal immigration and the president overstepping his executive authority allowing illegal immigration.”

The Republican-controlled House rejected short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with major anti-terrorism responsibilities.

Some conservatives opposed the bill because it left out provisions to block Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which Republicans have vowed to overturn.

House leaders tried to win lawmakers over, arguing a three-week extension bought them more time to fight Obama while his immigration directives are on hold in court. But conservatives abandoned the bill in droves and Democrats refused to make up the difference, pressing for a full-year funding bill instead.

Hvidston said Obama’s executive action would provide amnesty for about 5 million undocumented immigrants, mainly parents of children who are U.S. citizens.

“What they will get are Social Security cards and work permits,” said Hvidston. “We ask, ‘Why 5 million legalized (immigrants) when we have so much unemployment among our American population?’”

At noon, the protesters headed across the street to the Mexican Consulate to voice their concerns before heading to the Department of Homeland Security’s San Bernardino office on Hardt Street, where Hvidston delivered a brief letter addressed to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson calling for the “defunding of the lawless, unconstitutional executive edict.”

Immigration advocate Emilio Amaya of San Bernardino chalked Friday’s protest up to political posturing.

“It has nothing to do with community safety or national security,” said Amaya, executive director of the San Bernardino Community Service Center, a non-profit that provides immigration services to San Bernardino and Riverside county residents. “I think it’s a political game. It’s just to appeal to their anti-immigrant positions.”

Staff Writer Doug Saunders and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Press-Enterprise
IMMIGRATION: Homeland Security fight goes local
Anti-illegal-immigration activists blast the Obama administration executive actions that are at the heart of the congressional controversy.

Activists cross D Street in downtown San Bernardino and head to the Mexican consulate on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Anti-illegal-immigration activists were protesting President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Raul Rodriguez Jr., 73, of Apple Valley, right, talks to Hugo Oliva, center, of the Mexican consulate on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Oliva is holding a brown envelope that Rodriguez delivered, which includes a letter blasting President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.


Published: Feb. 27, 2015 Updated: Feb. 28, 2015 3:15 p.m.
As Congress wrangled over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, anti-illegal-immigration activists in downtown San Bernardino called Friday, Feb. 27, for the repeal of President Barack Obama’s executive actions that are at the center of the dispute.
The protest included a stop inside the San Bernardino Mexican consulate, where demonstrators hoisted “Stop illegal immigration” signs and handed a letter opposing the executive actions to a consular official.
Most Republicans want to tie appropriations for Homeland Security to voiding Obama’s executive actions that would provide deportation relief and work permits to up to five million immigrants in the country illegally, primarily those with U.S. citizen children.

Activist Mike McGetrick of Orange recites the U.S. Constitution using his megaphone during Friday’s downtown San Bernardino protest against President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The executive actions are on hold because of a court challenge to them.
We the People Rising, a Claremont-based group that organized the demonstration, called for Republicans to stay firm in linking DHS funding to repealing the executive actions.
“This is a way to get Obama to recognize he can’t make his own laws and create laws out of thin air,” said Glenn Vasquez, 65, of Fontana.
Only Congress has the power to enact such sweeping changes in immigration policy, he argued.
Vasquez said suspending Homeland Security funding wouldn’t harm national security because most DHS employees are required to report to work even if they’re not paid. If Republicans back down, it would be a sign of weakness, he said.
“It’s basically a power struggle, and when you’re fighting that kind of battle, you need to make it clear you intend to win and that you’re not just blowing smoke,” Vasquez said.
Betty Robinson, 67, of Tustin, said tying the two issues together is necessary because repealing the executive actions must be done before the courts allow the Obama administration to begin implementing them.
“If they leave the executive actions out (of the funding bill), the administration will give out the social security numbers and work permits (to executive-action beneficiaries) as soon as possible,” she said. “Then we can’t take them back.”
But J. Daniel Guzman, legal resources coordinator for Justice for Immigrants Coalition of Inland Southern California, an immigrant-rights group that supports the executive actions, said linking the two issues unfairly deprives Homeland Security employees of their paychecks and undermines national security. Guzman was not at the protest.
Once the executive actions are implemented, “finally tens of thousands of people in the Inland Empire can come out of the shadows, with some fear, but less fear, because they won’t be able to be taken away from their families,” Guzman said.
Some of the more than two dozen people at Friday’s protest said that, although they opposed the executive actions, they believed that efforts to repeal them should be handled separately from DHS funding.
Gwen Young, 68, of Loma Linda, said separate votes would clearly show voters which members of Congress support what she termed “executive amnesty” and which did not.
“They need to be held accountable,” she said.
Protesters came from Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties in addition to the Inland Empire. They rallied for about two hours in front of San Bernardino City Hall, carrying signs with slogans such as “Defund Obama’s Amnesty!” and “Congress Secure Our Borders.”
Demonstrators then crossed D Street and walked inside the Mexican consulate, waving their signs and American flags in the lobby.
Protester Raul Rodriguez Jr., 73, of Apple Valley, handed a letter blasting the executive actions to Hugo Oliva, the Mexican deputy consul. Oliva declined to discuss the executive actions because, he said, they are an internal U.S. matter.
Rodriguez said the visit to the consulate was “to make them aware we oppose the Obama executive amnesty and that we want Mexico and the United States to work together to secure our border.”
A man and woman in dark jackets who identified themselves as from the U.S. State Department monitored the protest. They declined to give their names or the reason they were there.
A State Department official in Washington, D.C., also would not say why they were there but said State Department agents sometimes provide security for foreign consulates.
Contact the writer: 951-368-9462 or

Nationwide Remembrance Day
For Those Killed By Illegal Aliens

The Remembrance Project Stolen Lives Quilt 
California Remembrance Day – Yorba Linda, CA 
November 1, 2015
Report by Robin Hvidston

The Remembrance Project is bringing national attention to the under-reported killings committed by illegal aliens, and is “connecting-the-dots” through its initiative, the “Stolen Lives Quilt” – a visual memorial dedicated to slain Americans, who would otherwise still be alive and with their families, if only 
current laws were enforced.

The Stolen Lives Quilt banners bring attention to the thousands of Americans who have been permanently separated from their families through no fault of their own.

Residents gather to honor those killed by unauthorized immigrants


YORBA LINDA – It’s not a typical quilt made from fabric and fancy stitching.

The “Stolen Lives Quilt” features large panels bearing the photos of Americans killed by people illegally residing in the United States.

Steve Woods, a San Clemente teen killed in 1993 by attackers who used a paint roller rod as a spear through his head, is on one of those portraits.

On Sunday, about 40 residents commemorated the fifth annual National Remembrance Day, organized by the Texas-based Remembrance Project, to honor Woods and others they said would be alive if immigration laws were enforced and unauthorized immigrants were deported to their homelands.

“If the federal government would do their job as they are mandated to do, defend our borders and keep Americans safe, Steve, along with many, many other victims, would be alive today,” Kathy Woods, Steve’s mother, said in a statement read by Irvine resident Evelyn Miller, an anti-illegal immigration leader.

The group gathered in front of the Yorba Linda Community Center and heard from family members of others they said were killed by unauthorized immigrants.

“Politicians don’t give a crap. They think we’re collateral damage. All they care about is cheap labor,” said Santa Ana resident Lupe Moreno. Her 13-year-old nephew, Ruben Morfin, was shot in the back of the head as he walked home from a friend’s house in Salinas 25 years ago.

Organizers of the event, replicated in other cities across the country, could not say how many people are killed by unauthorized immigrants. “It’s hard to calculate. The government doesn’t keep a record,” said Robin Hvidston, president of the Claremont-based We the People Rising.

Latino advocates have described such rallies as fear tactics against immigrants. But Tustin resident Betty Robinson, who coordinated the Yorba Linda event, said the number of victims appears to be growing: “We have more quilts than we’ve ever had.”

Contact the writer:


Anti-illegal immigration group protests GOP on budget vote

Congressional offices of Royce, Calvert, Cook and Hunter are picketed; Issa is next on list.
Published: Dec. 18, 2014 Updated: Dec. 20, 2014 9:53 a.m.

Two days after President Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill, a group of conservative voters from Orange County and the Inland Empire knocked on the doors of four Republican Congressmen who helped make that possible.

They wanted to let their representatives know they are not happy.

“We think that as Republicans … they should have waited for a bill that is more pro-U.S.A. citizens,” said Robin Hvidston, of the Claremont-based We the People Rising, an anti-illegal immigration group.

Members of Hvidston’s group and the Orange County-based National Coalition for Immigration Reform, picketed the offices of Congressmen Ed Royce in Brea, Ken Calvert in Corona, Paul Cook in Apple Valley and Duncan Hunter in Temecula. Today they plan to protest outside the San Diego office of Congressman Darrell Issa.

They are upset that the spending bill includes money for the Department of Homeland Security, which will implement Obama’s recent executive actions providing three-year protection from deportation for millions of people now living in the country illegally.

Republicans say their votes averted a government shutdown and they can revisit Homeland Security funding in a few months with a new Republican majority.

“I oppose the President’s executive action on immigration,” Royce said in a statement Thursday. “…The fight against President Obama’s unlawful executive order isn’t over.…It has just begun.”

Meanwhile, the anti-illegal immigration advocates said they want to thank California Republican congressmen who voted against the bill, including Dana Rohrabacher, R-Costa Mesa.

Contact the writer: More news on Twitter@RoxanaKopetman

Press Enterprise


POLITICS: Anti-illegal-immigration activists target Calvert, Cook, Hunter

December 15th, 2014, 3:58 pm
  by David Olson


Anti-illegal-immigration activists this week will picket the offices of five California Republican members of Congress who voted Thursday for a bill that funds most of the federal government through Sept. 30, 2015.

Among the congressmen targeted are Reps. Ken Calvert of Corona, Paul Cook of Yucca Valley and Duncan Hunter of Alpine, whose district includes most of Temecula.

The activists, from Claremont-based We the People Rising, are upset that the $1.1 trillion spending bill includes money for the Department of Homeland Security, which will implement President Obama’s recent executive actions providing protection from deportation for about four million immigrants living in the country illegally.

Some conservatives such as Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) tried unsuccessfully to use the spending bill to block the executive actions. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) led a similar failed effort in the Senate, which passed the spending bill Saturday night.

The bill partially addresses the concerns of those opposed to Obama’s actions by funding the Department of Homeland Security only through the end of February. By then, Republicans will control the Senate and have a bigger majority in the House, strengthening their hand in challenging the president’s immigration policies.

Calvert alluded to that in a statement in which he said the bill “prevents a government shutdown and sets the stage for Republicans to confront President Obama’s unilateral executive action on illegal immigration.”

But Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), who voted against the spending bill, said in a statement that the measure “increased funding levels for efforts concerning illegal immigration that I believe will exacerbate America’s illegal immigration problems.”

The activists plan to protest outside the offices of Calvert, Cook and Hunter and then deliver information packets to the congressmen’s staff members.

On Friday, activists are targeting the offices of Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who also voted for the spending bill.

Follow me on Twitter: @DavidOlson11


Daily Bulletin

Even Obama has said no to executive action: Guest commentary

POSTED: 11/19/14, 5:34 PM PST |
What is interesting to ponder, as President Obama moves forward unilaterally on immigration, is that Obama himself has repeatedly stated that he himself opposed executive action on the issue of immigration. According to the organization, during a speech on July 25, 2011, President Obama insisted that using executive action was not how the government was supposed to function. Here is the quotation:
“Some want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own … But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”
On June 26, 2013, in a Univision Television interview, when asked if he could legalize those in USA unlawfully via executive order, President Obama said, “… very important for us to recognize that the way to solve this problem is legislatively.
Although he had control of both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for the first two years of his presidency, he chose not to act upon immigration at that time.
Obama has chosen, instead, to take executive action at the end of a lame-duck term. But even members of his own party disagree with President Obama on executive amnesty. When asked about the possibility of executive action on immigration, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said, “The way this should be done is legislatively, because anything else will be challenged.”
A poll conducted by The Polling Company/WomanTrend found that 74 percent of midterm voters oppose the president’s moving forward with an executive action.
Incoming Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have vowed to fight the Obama executive amnesty plan via means such as legislatively defunding the executive order or via legal action. Our Constitution limits the executive branch of government and empowers our representatives — Congress — to take action on behalf of the American people.


 8 Dec 2014

California activist Robin Hvidson with We the People Rising (WTPR) and Stolen Lives Quilt told Breitbart California that the groups will “hold a stolen lives quilt display and stop Obama amnesty rally the same day sheriffs will be in Washington D.C.” The groups are partnering with others and meeting in front of the Orange County Sheriff’s office in Santa Ana, California on Wednesday, November 10.

Wednesday, Sheriffs from across the country, including California, are scheduled to meet with Senators Jeff Sessions and David Vitter at the United States Capitol building demanding action to secure the nation’s borders, as noted in a letter from Massachusetts, Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. Hodgson’s letter stated, “25 people in the United States are killed each day by illegal immigrants” and “benefits are being given and violations of laws forgiven for a select group of non-citizens.”
Breitbart recently reported, “Sessions said Congress must block federal dollars—any and all funding, whether it be from fees or tax dollars or other revenue, as the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says is within Congress’ power—to implement the executive amnesty.”
Remembrance Project Stolen Lives Quilt founder Maria Espinoza will attend the Washington, D.C. Sheriff’s meeting. According to the project’s website, the organization, “educates, raises awareness, and conducts outreach in order to support and protect Americans and their families’ well-being and safety through upholding U.S. laws and following the Constitution.”
We The People Rising represents the Remembrance Project Stolen Lives Quilt in California. Group leader Hvidson relayed in recent communication to their supporters: “California volunteers will display the Stolen Lives Quilt banners during the Stop Obama Amnesty Rally.”
Hvidson wrote, “In support of the Sheriffs’ Washington, DC, meeting, local pro-law enforcement coalitions will stage a Stop Obama Amnesty Rally in front of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, nationwide, Citizen Lobbyists and activists are phoning, tweeting and visiting Congress Members’ district offices, calling for them, next week, to vote to defund Obama’s executive amnesty.”
Breitbart was present for and reported on a previous demonstration the group held on the National Remembrance Day for Victims Killed by Illegal Aliens. There the families of these fallen Americans stood up to recount their losses and the difficulties they have faced in seeing the illegal aliens responsible for their loved ones’ deaths either prosecuted or deported.
Past polling indicates that majorities of Hispanics support prioritizing border security and interior immigration law enforcement at a rate of six in ten. More recent polling from theWall Street Journal and NBC indicates that only 42 percent of Hispanics agree with Obama’s recent executive action granting amnesty to those illegally present in the United States, according to Breitbart Texas.
In November, Breitbart Texas interviewed Puerto Rican attorney and former executive director of the Republican Hispanic Assembly of New Jersey, Samuel Rosado. who said, “Someone needs to take citizenship off the table, it’s clear that one of the big sticklers in the Senate bill was the pathway to citizenship, it’s the issue that gets Republicans hung up.”
A recent op-ed Rosado authored for National Review and noted in the Breitbart article included, “surveys suggest that taking citizenship eligibility off the table would not have turned off Latino support for a reform bill,” and continued, “But that’s not what the Democrats want. They have been using immigration reform as a political football with Latinos for years, and wholeheartedly rejected the idea of taking citizenship off the table.”
Communication from WTPR’s Hvidson provided commentary on the group’s 2015 citizen lobby goal, “A troubling trend has developed in Sacramento – there are Republican State Legislators who are voting yes, along with the Democrats, for very destructive CA bills. Citizen Lobbyists will be visiting Republican CA State Legislators in the upcoming year calling for them to ONLY vote for pro-American CA legislation.”
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


Anti-illegal immigration activists look beyond California for action

Robin Hvidston, president of We the People Rising, demonstrates in downtown Los Angeles last summer against illegal immigration. (Dan R. Krauss)

Anti-illegal immigration activists look beyond
California for action

DECEMBER 7, 2014, 3:46 PM

For years, Raul Rodriguez Jr. would let out an exasperated sigh, then move on, whenever he read or heard news about illegal immigration. But something clicked last summer when he saw reports of multitudes of Central Americans illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
“I’ve got to do something,” Rodriguez, 72, said he told himself. “I’ve got to get off the couch and need to get people involved.”
Rodriguez crafted signs denouncing illegal immigration for various rallies, including one in Murrieta a few days after busloads of Central American detainees were turned back amid vocal protests.
After President Obama announced his immigration reform plan last month, the Apple Valley resident started contacting congressional leaders to express his displeasure.
California’s anti-illegal immigration movement has lost a lot of steam in the 20 years since voters passed Proposition 187, the ballot measure intended to deny taxpayer-funded services to those in the country illegally.
Polls consistently show that Californians don’t see illegal immigration as the same type of threat they did in the 1990s, and a September USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll showed 73% of voters support some type of path to citizenship for those here illegally.
But the last few months have shown that the anti-illegal immigration forces remain small but potent — and a movement that backers hope will get stronger with Obama’s action.
Tactics this time are changing. Robin Hvidston, president of We the People Rising, a Claremont organization, said her group and other California activists have focused on targeting congressional leaders outside the state because they know there’s little they can do here.
“They see their only hope being the national government,” said Roy H. Beck, who heads NumbersUSA, a powerful national advocacy group opposing illegal immigration. “They don’t see a solution coming from inside California.”
People Rising and other groups campaigning against illegal immigration say they are experiencing a modest uptick in public interest and support as immigration has emerged as a big issue this year, a trend confirmed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
But it’s not exactly a groundswell.
The protests in Murrieta garnered days of national attention and inspired similar demonstrations throughout the nation, according to activists and the poverty law center.
Obama’s plan, which would give work permits and temporary protection from deportation to nearly 5 million who are in the country illegally, did generate some protests, but they were decidedly small-scale. One last month in Rancho Cucamonga drew just six demonstrators.
Activists in California say that once the new Congress takes office in January, they are planning a phone and fax blitz in response to Obama’s move. Plans to join rallies in Washington, D.C., are also in the works.
Movement leaders said they want Congress to fight Obama’s executive action and to further secure the border with Mexico.
The renewed activity opposing illegal immigration in California reflects what’s happening on a national level, Beck said.
“They’re all enraged and engaged,” Beck said. “This issue is a white-hot priority within our followers.”
Leo Chavez, professor of anthropology at UC Irvine who has researched and written about the movement against illegal immigration, said an uptick in such activity is common when there are national events with high-media exposure, such as the border crisis last summer.
But whether the momentum will be sustainable is a question, especially in California, where dramatic political and demographic changes have taken place since the heyday of the movement in the 1990s.
Polling shows that Californians still have concerns about illegal immigration.
In the September USC/Times poll, 72% of respondents said illegal immigration is a crisis or major problem. The response was shared across ethnic, ideological, income and geographic lines, the poll found, even by those who support a path to citizenship for people who are in the country illegally.
Still, the state’s movement is a shadow of what it was in 1994, when California voters approved Proposition 187, a measure to deny public services — such as public schooling and healthcare — to people in the country illegally. Most of its provisions were struck down in court.
The movement deflated a bit, then picked up steam in 2005 with the rise of the Minuteman Project — a civilian militia patrol led by Jim Gilchrist of Orange County. The group took to patrolling the Mexican border in Arizona.
But infighting, violence and accusations of corruption dismantled the movement. The 2011 conviction of Minutemen member Shawna Forde in the murders of a man and his 9-year-old daughter in southern Arizona scarred the cause and drove many people out of the movement.
Many of the movement’s most active participants moved into the tea party, which put immigration on the back burner and focused their energy on defeating a number of Obama’s efforts, such as the Affordable Care Act, said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extreme right-wing and hate groups.
At the height of the movement in 2010, the center tracked more than 300 such groups. After that, it dipped dramatically to just about 30 last year.
Chavez, who has tracked anti-illegal immigration groups for years and wrote “The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation,” said that the movement in California lost a lot of its momentum because of the demographic shift that has occurred since the mid-1990s.
This year, Latinos became the largest single ethnic group in the state, making up 39% of the population, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
“Latinos are definitely a force to be reckoned with in California,” Chavez said.
After California, the crusade against illegal immigration moved east toward Arizona after a series of immigration-enforcement laws were passed there, but many were ultimately struck down by the courts.
Now, all eyes are on Texas, where conservative legislators have adopted many of the movement’s goals, especially after the crisis along the Texas border last summer.
“This is where California was in the 1990s,” Beck said.
Rodriguez, born in El Paso, Texas, to a U.S.-born mother and a father of Mexican origin who became a naturalized U.S. citizen and fought in World War II, said he doesn’t know whether his father came to the U.S. legally.
Regardless, he said, people should “get in line” and come and stay with permission, instead of crossing the border illegally or overstaying a visa and falling out of status.
The path to legal immigration to the U.S. is backlogged and very restricted, leaving those who do it through legal channels waiting for a very long time.
For instance, a Mexican national who is the adult child of a U.S. citizen must wait an estimated 20 years before filing for a permanent residency visa, according to a Migration Policy Institute report last year.
Rodriguez said he’ll continue to fight illegal immigration any way he can. Recently, he fired his gardener after learning he was in was in the country illegally, because Rodriguez believed keeping him on was unfair to U.S. workers.
“I haven’t found someone who I can hire to do the job,” he said. “But I’m willing to pay an American citizen to do that for me.”

Local activists rally in front of Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Dana Point while carrying portions of the “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which represents people who were killed by unauthorized immigrants.

Jack Mercica, left, and Steve Serra join local activists against illegal immigration as they rally in front of Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Dana Point. The activists brought a portion of the “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which represents people who were killed by unauthorized immigrants.
Anti-amnesty movement finds new life from Dana Point to D.C.
Activists use ‘Stolen Lives Quilt’ to show those killed by undocumented immigrants.
he activists brought their usual collection of protest posters. But on Friday, they unrolled something else: large white banners with portraits of people killed by immigrants living in the country illegally.
With President Obama pledging to go at it alone on immigration reform by taking executive action, a small group of activists against illegal immigration rallied outside Republican Congressman Darrell Issa’s Dana Point office with the posters that are part of a bigger project called “The Stolen Lives Quilt.”
Buoyed by the Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate last Tuesday, advocates against granting unauthorized immigrants legal residency are calling on their legislators to fight the president’s promise to use his executive powers before year’s end.
“Over the next several months, a coalition of citizen lobbyists will be visiting Congress members and California’s two U.S. senators’ offices to call upon these elected officials to take action in order to stop Obama’s pending executive amnesty plan,” said Robin Hvidston, of the Claremont-based We the People organization.
Tustin resident Betty Robinson said she is concerned about importing poverty, taking jobs away from American workers and diverting resources that could go to veterans to aid people who are living in the country illegally.
Robinson and others in her group point to crimes such as the one committed last month in Northern California, where two sheriff’s deputies were killed. An illegal immigrant who crossed the border twice without permission is accused of the murders.
Joseph Villela, of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said his heart goes out to anyone who has lost a relative through a criminal act. But the idea of juxtaposing victims with unauthorized immigrants is “a false premise.”
“They’re saying undocumented immigrants equal crime, and that’s not true,” Villela said. “A lot of times what these groups do is utilize fear tactics to distract the public from real issues.
“We have illegal immigrants who want to come out of the shadows. They are law abiding and want to collaborate with law enforcement. What this group is doing is taking these cases and developing a fear campaign against the immigrant community.”
Last Sunday, relatives and others of those killed by people living in the country illegally gathered at events around the country, including one in Temecula, to commemorate the fourth annual National Day of Remembrance. The Stolen Lives Quilt is part of the Remembrance Project, a non-profit created in 2009.
Meanwhile, both sides of the immigration reform debate are awaiting Obama’s next move.
During a press conference Wednesday, Obama spoke at length about compromising and working together with Republicans, who after Tuesday’s election have a majority in both chambers of Congress. But he made it clear he will take action on revamping the country’s immigration system.
“But what I’m not going to do is just wait,” he said.
Contact the writer: 714-796-7829 and

Carol Schlaepfer, Judi Neal, Vaughn Beck and Betty Robinson, from left, display parts of the “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which represents people who were killed by unauthorized immigrants.

Ly Kou, of Ontario, right, unfurls part of the “Stolen Lives Quilt” during a rally in front of Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Dana Point.
Evelyn Miller of Irvine carries a flag during a gathering of activists at Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Dana Point. The activists held a rally against illegal immigration. The activists brought a portion of the “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which represents people who were killed by unauthorized immigrants.

Bill Johannes of Fullerton joins other activists in displaying a portion of the “Stolen Lives Quilt,” which represents people who were killed by illegal immigrants.

Orrie Brown, left, of San Juan Capistrano and Diane Johannes, of Fullerton, join other local activists at a rally against illegal immigration in front of Congressman Darrell Issa’s office in Dana Point.



 8 Nov 2014

Stolen lives, that is how families refer to the death of their loved ones at the hands of criminals who were present in the country illegally when these men and women’s lives were stopped short. The Stolen Lives Quilt organization gathers these families and friends and on the National Remembrance Day to speak out not only for remembrance, but also to speak against lack of government enforcement in immigration policies.

German immigrant and single mother of her only child, Sabine Durden spoke at the Sunday event in tribute to her son Dominic. The 30-year old sheriff dispatcher and pilot was killed when a Guatemalan illegally present in the United States and driving without a license caused the accident that left him dead. Juan Zacarias Tzun had two prior drunk driving convictions. It was only through the diligent efforts of Ms. Durden that the illegal alien, whom had requested amnesty from a judge, was deported, Durden told the crowd.

“My son Dominic and I were best of friends for all of his 30 years on this earth,” Sabine Durden said from the speaker’s podium in front of a park and along a busy Temecula roadway, the site of the National Remembrance Day event. Sabine first spoke with Breitbart News at the site of illegal immigration protests in nearby Murrietta, California in July of this year.

Jamiel Shaw, Jr. was a high school football star with a very bright future ahead of him. The deafening ring of shots fired rang in the ears of Jamiel Shaw, Sr. one day as his son was gunned down near the family home at the hands of illegal alien gang member Pedro Espinoza. Shaw told the crowd of Espinoza’s history of violence. Espinoza had also been released from jail the day before he killed Jamiel. Espinoza was sentenced to death row and is now locked up at San Quentin.

Shaw Sr. testified before the House Judiciary committee in June regarding his son’s death and the illegal alien gang member that killed him. As Breitbart reported, the killer would qualify for “legalization under the DREAM Act provisions of the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill.” Shaw Sr. has been an adamant activist for support of a proposal called Jamiel’s Law and hosts a regular radio program. Sunday’s program covered the National Day of Remembrance.

Shaw also signed on to a letter in July addressed to House Speaker John Boehner, written from victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens and was provided exclusively to Breitbart News. The letter pleaded for enforcement at America’s borders.

Brenda Sparks honored her son Eric Haydu Zepeda and shared their story. Young Eric and his passenger were struck while on his motorcycle by illegal alien driver Pablo Arturo Duarte Rodriguez in August of 2011. Eric died almost a month later from his injuries and his passenger Amanda remains disabled, a summary of Brenda’s story recorded. Brenda shared that the individual responsible for her son’s death remains illegally present in the United States without recourse.

Lupe Moreno shared her story of the murder of her nephew. She told the crowd, a truck of intoxicated illegal aliens, “started punching and hitting them[a group of kids] and because my nephew was so young, the older boys told him to run. An illegal alien grabbed him by the shoulder, asked him what he was and he said, ‘I’m an American’ and the guy shoots him in the back of the head. My sister died that day.”

Don Rosenberg shared the story of his son Drew with the group. A summary of Drew detailed the second year law student’s life, stolen when his motorcycle collided with an unlicensed, Honduran national illegally present in the U.S., Roberto Galo. Galo illegally crossed into Drew’s path, killing the young man. He served half of a six month sentence before being deported, action that came only from the Rosenberg family’s activism.

The group also recognized two law enforcement officers recently killed in the Sacramento, California area, allegedly gunned down by an illegal alien.

Gabe Pacheco, a National Border Patrol Union spokesman provided the following comment to Breitbart News. Pacheco was present at Sunday’s event.

I am so proud of the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol and their steadfast commitment to enforcing the immigration laws of the United States. While we cannot prevent every entry and escape from detection, we can make it difficult for these criminals to cross by using design controls, infrastructure, and manpower. Each entry that goes undetected and escapes or eludes America’s frontline is a potential criminal that could harm and murder innocent Americans.

Special interests groups would disagree with this opinion because they characterize these criminals as “hard working” folks who want a better way of life, and that they are leaving poverty, gang violence, and political corruption behind. They remark, “Before we were us, we were them,” as to say that America is a nation made of immigrants and at one time we or our ancestors were coming to America under the same circumstances. Then this would be followed up with another comment on “European ancestry,” thus making this an issue of racism and discrimination. This is not an issue of racism or discrimination. These special interest groups look at these illegal aliens as a new means of taxation and influence by which they will benefit. A new subjugation of those who are simple and who are limited by the language barrier. However, when confronted by the truth of the murder of two law enforcement officials by an illegal alien in northern California, they openly condemned the behavior because it undermines their agenda.

… Giving States and Local law enforcement authorities the ability to enforce immigration laws, with access to immigration databases, and the ability to immediately adjudicate immigration cases, is perhaps, the way to prevent the needless stealing of lives.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

A sheet with the names, faces and details of some of the “stolen lives” remembered in Temecula, California that day are included in the document below.


Click on the link and leave comments at the end of the article:

Marine jailed in Mexico may be close to coming home
Published: Oct. 1, 2014 Updated: 7:26 p.m.

Dr. Wiley Drake Sr. of Buena Park, chairman of the Congressional Prayer Conference, leads a prayer outside for Rep. Ed Royce’s office in Brea. The group was gathered to protest the detention of ex-Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who is being held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges.

People gather outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office to protest the detention of ex-Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who is being held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges.
BREA – It appears Mexico is close to releasing a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who has been detained since March on gun charges, lawmakers said Wednesday after a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, who chairs the committee, said Mexico’s attorney general indicated he has the power to release Andrew Tahmooressi once he receives proof of the post traumatic stress disorder Tahmooressi developed from serving two tours in Afghanistan.
He said Tahmooressi’s medical reports from the Department of Veterans Affairs were recently forwarded to the Mexican official. The combat veteran was diagnosed with PTSD 10 days before his arrest in Mexico, Royce said.
“I’m certain that we’re nearing a dismissal and release now that those documents are in the hands of the attorney general,” Royce said.
Supporters of Tahmooressi gathered in front of Royce’s Brea office Wednesday to demand the veteran’s immediate release and urge a boycott of all Mexican products until he is back home.
“He needs to be released now,” said Betty Robinson, a Tustin resident and spokesperson for event organizer We The People Rising. “Everyday they keep him, it puts him farther back with his treatment.”
Tahmooressi, of Weston, Fla., was arrested when Mexican border officials found three legally purchased and registered guns in his truck. His mother, Jill Tahmooressi, has told media outlets that her son mistakenly drove across the border after missing his exit, as he was driving to San Ysidro for dinner.
Tahmooressi’s detention has frustrated many in the U.S. in part because of his medical condition, which cannot be treated properly in Mexico, Royce said.
“That is the very argument I explained to the attorney general of Mexico last Thursday,” Royce said.
Janet Montgomery of Signal Hill joins demonstrators outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office to protest the detention of ex-Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who is being held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges.
Diana and Bill Johannes of Fullerton join demonstrators outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office to protest the detention of ex-Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who is being held in a Mexican prison on weapons charges, on Wednesday.\\\\



Just or Unjust Laws: CA Government in Action (or Inaction)

August 22, 2014 at 5:00 am / by

 From the California State Capitol Museum’s

It is the duty of Legislators
to make just laws.

This guiding motto, displayed above the podium of the Assembly Chamber, reminds Assembly Members of their responsibility. It is a responsibility that has grown over the years. In 1849, the first Legislature passed 146 laws and 19 resolutions. Today’s Legislature will propose, analyze, and debate over 6,000 bills in a single two-year session.

A friend of PolitiChicks contacted me to let us know about a Southern California delegation of concerned Patriots representing We the People Rising, who drove to their State Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, August 19, to meet with Democrat Senator Ricardo Lara regarding proposed Senate Bill 1159. But what they saw in Senator Lara’s office on a Tuesday afternoon during working hours was a shocker—a Gay Pride Block Party complete with a cross-dresser partying with the Senator’s staff.

So, what is disconcerting about S.B. 1159 that a group of concerned citizens spent 14 hours and two days to meet with the Senator?

The Los Angeles Times describes the bill which was passed by the Senate and is now headed to the Assembly: “A bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) would ease the licensing process for [illegals to obtain professional licenses to practice as] psychologists and pharmacists, in addition to other healthcare professionals, and for about two dozen other occupations including real estate agents and security guards….”

“SB 1159 would allow about 40 state boards to accept a federal taxpayer identification number as proof of identification in lieu of a Social Security number (which illegals are not supposed to legally possess).”

According to We the People Rising’s website, Lara is the same Senator who authored “the CA Driver’s License Bill for Illegals (AB 60) and the Health Care For All Act (SB 1005) that would provide health care to illegals.”

While the delegation did not have the opportunity to formally meet with Lara, they managed to have a very brief encounter with him in the hallway before he ducked into another Senator’s office. When he came out, he was out escorted by the Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms back to his office—keeping him away from the people he represents.

While in Sacramento, they spent their time lobbying Senators and Assembly members and testifying against House Resolution 51 which reads, in part,

WHEREAS, The Assembly supports both state and federal efforts to formulate strong partnerships with Central American countries to promote economic development, education, and the rule of law as a means to improve, stabilize, and democratize their institutions, which will in turn help promote public safety and curtail mass immigration; now, therefore, be it:”

“Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly declares that all Californians, as residents of the United States, have civic responsibility to respect the human dignity of immigrants seeking refuge in the United States and to ensure that those immigrants are afforded due process and equal protection under the laws of the United States…..”

In California, often House Resolutions turn into law.

LEGISLATORUM EST JUSTAS LEGES CONDERE. It is the duty of Legislators to make just laws.

Just laws in the minds of California Democrat legislators are healthcare and drivers licenses for illegals and now professional licenses for illegals.

According to Real Clear Politics, illegals also get in-state tuition, and they don’t have to fear being turned in to federal immigration authorities by without cause or saying anything to them that would “induce fear” of deportation.

Real Clear Politics continues, “The most far-reaching change of all is a bill known as the Trust Act, which prohibits law enforcement officers from turning over persons they detain to immigration authorities except in arrests for major felonies or sex crimes.

The Founder of We the People Rising, Robin Hvidston, states, “We want more citizens to get involved in their government, not only in California, but nationwide. Visit your respective state capitols, visit the representatives’ offices and attend hearings. Get involved! Our country needs you.”

Kudos to Robin and her colleagues who spent two days and 14 hours in the car: Carol Schaeffer, Patrice Lynes, Raymond Herrera, Raul Rodriguez, Mike McGetrick , Staysi Barth and Robert Newman.

Rally is held in front of Fontana church in connection with immigration issue

Rally held in front of church

People who are opposed to illegal immigration held a rally in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church on July 13.  (Herald News photo by Alejandro Cano)

Monday, July 14, 2014 8:58 am

About 20 people held a rally in front of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fontana on July 13, seeking to influence the church’s leadership on the issue of immigration.

Participants in the rally waved American flags and held signs in support of United States citizens who are in need of help.

The rally, organized by Fontana resident Tressy Capps, was peaceful and there were no counter-demonstrators.

The event was held in response to the church’s participation in hosting a temporary transition center for 46 people (all women and children) who were migrants from Central America on July 10. The immigrants were provided food, clothing, and medical care, and all had left the church by July 11 on their way to various destinations throughout the U.S.

Robin Hvidston, a member of an Inland Empire-based group which is opposed to illegal immigration, said that she wanted to encourage the church to assist “American foster children, homeless veterans and unemployed Americans” instead of the immigrants.

“According to 2012 government statistics, there were almost 400,000 American minors in the United States foster care system,” Hvidston said.

She wanted St. Joseph Church to “help the suffering American children in the community as well as homeless Americans, homeless veterans, the unemployed American families and their children: all in need of immediate assistance — rather than to provide resources to foreign nationals who have crossed into the USA illegally.”

Capps is urging residents to attend the next Fontana City Council meeting on July 22 to address the ramifications of the immigration issue.

CBS NEWS coverage of 7/13/14  Help Americans Rally, St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Fontana, CA

Daily Bulletin


POSTED: 07/13/14, 9:33 PM PDT |

FONTANA  They gathered in front of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, at times singing patriotic songs while holding signs calling for the church and the federal government to focus their attention on the needs of Americans rather than on Central Americans who have recently begun arriving at the nation’s southern border.
About 20 protesters conducted a rally on the sidewalk in front of the church.
“This is a support America rally,” said Tressy Capps of Fontana. “We have veterans, we have the unemployed, we have homeless and foster kids.”
Each of those groups of people could benefit from the assistance of the church, she said.
Instead, Capps said, the church is aiding the newly arrived Central Americans who came here without following proper immigration procedures.
Late last week, the church welcomed a group of 46 Central Americans made up mostly of mothers and their children.
The Department of Homeland Security transported them to the church where parish volunteers and members of Catholic Charities of San Bernardino and Riverside assisted the families by providing food, a change of clothing, a place to shower and help with contacting family members in the Midwest and East Coast, where they were headed.
All of the services the church provided to the families were paid for by the Diocese of San Bernardino and with donations, said John Andrews, spokesman for the diocese, which covers San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
The families had documentation from their native countries, paperwork from U.S. authorities allowing them to remain in the country until they have an immigration hearing, and contact information for relatives at their destinations, he said.
When they arrived, the families were taken to a former convent on the church property. The majority left the convent to continue their trips within hours of arriving Thursday morning and all had left by the end of Friday, Andrews said.
Capps, like others at the rally, said she is concerned that President Barack Obama wishes to use $3.7 billion to cover costs associated with the arrival of the Central Americans — money she says would be better spent on the needs of Americans.
James Baca of Riverside, who grew up in Fontana and continues to attend services at St. Joseph periodically, is troubled by the actions of the church.
“The church has every right to support their position because it feels it is a humanitarian issue,” Baca said. “But for many, including myself, it’s a political issue that is hurting American families here in America.”
As Baca sees it, the families will place a burden on communities as they begin to use public services.
Assisting the Central American families, said Andrews, is part of following what the Catholic faith calls on people to do.
“This is a Christian witness,” he said. “This is not a political position.”

FONTANA: Protesters demonstrate outside church

Protesters demonstrate outside a St. Joseph's church in Fontana where Central American migrants were given transitional help last week. RICHARD DE ATLEY/ STAFF

Protesters demonstrate outside a St. Joseph’s church in Fontana where Central American migrants were given transitional help last week. RICHARD DE ATLEY/ STAFF

UPDATES , adds information throughout

At least 20 people on Sunday protested a Roman Catholic Church that briefly housed  and cared for Central American migrants, saying the church should focus on helping U.S. citizens.
None of the 46 migrants who came to the Fontana church Thursday were present Sunday. All were gone by Friday afternoon, San Bernardino Diocese spokesman John Andrews said, adding that the work was in keeping with church teaching.
St. Joseph Church’s former convent was used to feed, clothe and minister to the migrants and help them with transportation to those awaiting them in the United States.
One protest organizer said many of the picketers were involved in the Murrieta protest earlier this month that blocked busloads of migrant women and children from being processed at the border patrol station in that Riverside County city.
On Sunday, the protesters said that if the church is serving the poor, they should be Americans.
“We’d like to see these illegals repatriated back to their home countries,” said organizer Tressa Capps of Fontana. “We have plenty of our own citizens in desperate need.”
Andrews  said Christ’s teachings do not discriminate among the needy.
“The Good Samaritan didn’t ask the person on  the side of the road for his legal status,” he said.
“We think this is a time that our government, our churches, should be focusing on American citizens,” said Upland resident Robin Hvidston of We the People Rising. She said the church should focus on domestic foster children, the homeless and veterans.
“Those are all  populations that the church endeavors to help,” Andrews said. “We don’t  make distinctions about the groups we help, because we are helping them all for the same reason.”
St. Joseph is one of at least three churches in the San Bernardino Diocese, which serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties, designated to serve as transition centers for the migrants. Another is St. Catherine of Siena in Rialto.
On Sunday, parishoners at St. Catherine of Alexandria in Riverside were told their church might  also be called on to help newly arrived migrants.
They were asked to donate items such as water, diapers, baby wipes, towels, hygiene items, wash cloths and cash.
The Border Patrol on Thursday stopped flights of Central American migrants from Texas to California to relieve the backlog  of processing them.
The migrants, who surged in recent months, say they are escaping  drug gangs and unchecked crime.
But those already brought to California are still in need of final paperwork before they are released to await the outcome of their status in the United States.
At St. Joseph, the protesters waved American flags and held signs to arriving parishioners and passing cars. The signs reflected their call for aid  to the homeless, veterans and foster children.
Some car drivers honked their horns, but parishioners passed the group of protesters mostly in silence as they made their way to a 10:30 a.m. and a noon Mass.
Private security guards looked on from inside the perimeter of the church campus.
Protesters said they would ask the city to investigate if the church’s use  of the convent as temporary housing was a code violation. Andrews said the diocese has been working with police.
Demonstrators began leaving shortly after 1 p.m.  Fontana Police said there were no arrests or incidents.

Locals protest U.S. soldier detained in Mexico

By Leslie Parrilla

A small group of protestors chanted “hey, hey, ho, ho, bring Andrew home” today in front of the Mexican consulate in downtown San Bernardino for the release of aa U.S. soldier from a Mexican jail.
The group was part of a national effort to bring home Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, 25, a U.S. citizen who was detained after he said he missed a freeway exit near San Ysidro while going to dinner, unintentionally crossing into Mexico on March 31, said group organizer Robin Hvidston, of We the People Rising, an advocacy group supporting veterans.

Tahmooressi said Mexican authorities found three guns inside his truck. He was last reported as being held in Tijuana’s La Mesa Penitentiary without bail, according to news reports.
Tahmooressi served four years in the Marines, including two tours in Afghanistan before being honorably discharged in November 2012, according to news reports.
Suzanne Carlson held a sign in front of the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino asking for his release. She joins others across the nation petitioning the Mexican government to free the soldier and asking the U.S. government to get involved.

“I was following the news, so I made a sign and I appeared,” Carlson said. “It’s frustrating to me that one of ours is in their jail and there’s no leeway, and they won’t let him out, and we do so much for their immigrants right now.”
A congressional foreign affairs committee is expected to meet Tuesday and possibly discuss the matter, “We want to see them bring him home,” Hvidston said.

Protesters on both sides of immigration debate rally in San Bernardino

Protesters calling for an end to deportations and counterprotesters supporting current policy demonstrated Thursday April 3, 2014 in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in San Bernardino. The protest include a symbolic marriage between actors portraying Sheriff John McMahon and an ICE official, officiated by President Obama, to illustrate what protesters say is too close of a relationship between them. (Photo by Rick Sforza/The Sun)


SAN BERNARDINO, CA   Two groups of protesters, while arguing for two very different causes, expressed a similar call to action: Both want the government to enforce current laws.

About 80 out of the group of 100 or so people outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office Thursday afternoon called for an end to deportations.

One woman in the crowd, Nalleli Rincon, who identified herself as an undocumented immigrant, said she was arrested and held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga for about 20 days following an arrest as a result of a domestic dispute between her and her husband.  

Emilio Amaya, director of San Bernardino Community Service Center Inc. called Rincon’s incarceration a violation of the Trust Act, which prohibits local authorities from holding those with questionable immigration status longer than necessary to transfer them to federal immigration officials, unless they are suspected of committing serious or violent crimes.

Rincon, through a translator, said immigration officers wrapped a GPS-monitoring device around her ankle. She is facing deportation, which would separate her from her husband and children.

“We are here today to ask the Sheriff’s Department to follow the law and the Trust Act,” Amaya said, later adding, “They shouldn’t be using resources to target people who are a low priority.”

Straying from the message of “not one more deportation” presented by other pro-immigration reform groups at the protest, Amaya said his organization supports deporting anybody who presents a threat to the community, like killers and kidnappers.

That is one statement the other group of protesters from Claremont-based We The People Rising would likely agree with.

Executive Director Robin Hvidston said her group of about 20 came to the federal agency’s office to display support for the people assigned to protect America’s borders.

“We wanted our immigration officers to see the public stands with them,” she said.

Protesters in her group flashed signs asking for increased border security while others held,“Stolen Lives” quilts, displaying the pictures and faces of residents allegedly killed by undocumented immigrants.

The protesters respected each other’s First Amendment rights, and, while a police officer observed from a distance, his service was not needed.


Daily Bulletin

Immigration groups on bus tour stop in San Bernardino

By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

POSTED: 02/27/14, 12:45 PM PST |

A national bus tour in support of comprehensive immigration reform stopped at a labor organization’s headquarters in San Bernardino and riders visited the office of Rep. Gary Miller in Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday.

“Fast for Families Across America” kicked off its national bus tour for immigration reform to more than 75 congressional districts throughout the country.

The two-bus tour, one heading north, the other south, will stop in seven districts, where riders will hold daily press events, prayer vigils and community meetings to encourage constituents to support their case. Clergy, labor groups and immigrant rights leaders are part of the bus tour, calling for reform.

The hope is for Congress to pass immigration reform legislation this year.

The bus made a stop at the Service Employees International Union United Long Term Care Workers San Bernardino location Thursday morning.

Walter Contreras, a Rancho Cucamonga resident and an ordained minister with the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, said reform can be only a positive for the region.

“It’s going to benefit not only the economy, but it’s also going to benefit the cities in regards to getting these people out of the shadows, especially because there are a lot of crimes committed against them,” Contreras said. “And a lot of the undocumented folks who have been here for many years, many have families and some of their kids were born here.”

The Fast for Families group did not bring the bus to Miller’s office, though they did speak to a representative for the congressman asking the representative’s support for immigration reform.

“As I’ve said before, I’ve heard from both sides of the issue about immigration reform and its impact on the Inland Empire,” Miller said in a statement on Thursday. “I’m continuing to listen and gather input from constituents, business leaders and law enforcement to ensure the needs of the Inland Empire are met. I will not let the politics of the issue or protests pressure me to make a decision that is not in the best interest of Inland Empire families.”
Also at the office were members of the Claremont-based organization We The People Rising, a group that opposes immigration reform and illegal immigration, and has often offered a counter message to immigration reform supporters at Miller’s office throughout the past year.
“We are here today to stand up for American workers,” said Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People, which supported Miller in the last election. “There are 20 million people looking for a job. These are veterans, and the homeless. These Americans are suffering and our message to Congressman Miller is to write legislation to support Americans.”
Cathy Cushman of Upland was also in support of We the People.
“Based on the rule of law, we have a very generous legal immigration program in the United States, with over 1 million people coming here, mostly poor, and there’s no way we should be allowing illegal immigrants to stay here, to give them amnesty, to give them a pathway, to give them a green card,” Cushman said. “There’s an easy way for them to do this: Back in their own home country, and I strongly support that.”
Following the California stops, each bus continues to visit in communities from Los Angeles to Philadelphia and stops in between, until arriving in Washington, D.C., on April 9.

Immigration reform generates heated discussion 

Posted by 
Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Tuesday’s nonpartisan forum on immigration analyzed the pros and cons of reform as well as conservative and progressive viewpoints on it. The forum is part of the annual forum put on by the Political Science honors association. The political science honors association Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Chi, APU Young Conservatives and APU Young Progressives co-hosted the annual event in LAPC, which focuses on a different topic each year.

The night featured a panel of six, which included Dr. Bryan Lamkin, Dr. Daniel Palm, Dr. Donald Thorsen and Dr. Jennifer Walsh, just named CLAS dean. Conservative activist Robin Hvidston and party member Ly Kou served as guest speakers on the panel.

Conservative organization“We the People Rising” was invited to attend. Hvidston is its executive director.

Each panel member was allotted 15 minutes to speak on respective areas encompassing immigration reform.

Dr. Don Thorsen, chairman of the Graduate Department of Theology and Ethics, spoke theologically as well as from a progressive perspective.


“The older I become, the more I think Christians ought to be involved in both private and public issues,” Thorsen said. “Just as the Bible in my Christian faith informs my private life and public decisions, I think the Bible says as much to me on how to be a good steward, compassionate and justice-loving.”

According to Pi Sigma Alpha President and senior political science major Julia Derkach, the goal of this forum was to promote colloquial discussion among APU students.

The night progressed with discussion on the historical overview of immigration policy in the U.S. as well as international comparatives of how immigration is being handled across the globe.

Walsh emphasized the importance of speaking about these issues as a political community. She also analyzed the legal and political perspectives of the immigration status in the U.S.

After each panelist had the opportunity to speak, students were invited to participate in the Q-and-A portion of the night. Questions ranged from the effects of a reform through a business and agricultural perspective as well as biblical interpretations about politics.

“I thought this would be more of a debate and that there would be more energy from the audience. Nonetheless, I came with an open mind,” said “We The People Rising” member Loree Masonis.

Despite controversy and wide-ranging ideas, students had the opportunity to engage in active conversation with fellow APU attendees as well as community members.

“Laws will change, but their compassionate and just implementation needs to take place,” Thorsen said.

Daily Bulletin


Linnie Drolet, of Rancho Cucamonga, signs postcards opposing amnesty during a protest outside Congressman Gary Miller’s office in Rancho Cucamonga on Monday

POSTED: 01/27/14, 1:24 PM PST

Protesters target Congressman Miller’s office over amnesty

By Grace Wong, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin


Jackie Navoa waited more than six years to come to the United States.

She had just graduated from a school in the Philippines and planned on fulfilling her dreams of becoming a registered nurse. After waiting for her paperwork and for her funds to go through, she finally made it.

Fifteen years after she became a United States citizen, she stood with her husband and a dozen other community members Monday in front of Republican Rep. Gary Miller’s office in Rancho Cucamonga to urge him to oppose House Speaker John Boehner’s potential immigration reforms.

Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Republicans are poised to introduce those reforms this week, including a path to legal status — but not citizenship — for many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

But as the immigration debate in Congress heats up this week, Miller, whose left-leaning 31st District spanning from Upland to Redlands, and Rep. Paul Cook, R-Yucaipa, have become the focus of local opposition. And in recent days, the potential for GOP action on reform is making groups who supported Miller’s candidacy threaten to back away from him.

Outside Cook’s and Miller’s district offices, passing cars honked at protestors while bright yellow lawn signs screamed “HIRE AMERICANS.”

Navoa particularly opposed the potential of providing amnesty to undocumented immigrants.

“I waited for my turn, I did it legally and it’s not fair for the government to give amnesty,” Navoa said. “They don’t need to take away jobs from American citizens, and there are a lot of illegal immigrants crossing the border and they are committing crimes.”

The protest was organized by Claremont-based advocacy, as part of a number of similar protests throughout the state.

Outside Cook’s office, Navoa’s concerns were echoed by others.

“First of all, we’re concerned about the direction of our country,” said Yucaipa resident Raul Rodriguez, a member of the Redlands Tea Party. “American citizens are out of jobs and collecting unemployment. Illegal immigrants are taking those jobs.”

Last week, the Redlands Tea Party Patriots, which supported Miller in his campaign for the 31st District, threatened to withhold support for Miller, if the House passes amnesty.

“No matter what you or they call it, no matter what ‘clever’ Washington way you or they pass it, the Redlands Tea Party Patriots will not support any Republican members of Congress, and we will urge everyone we can to abstain in voting for Congress,” the letter stated.

Protestors on Monday believed that immigration reform will negatively impact the unemployed, the homeless and veterans and that by supporting it, Miller would not be accurately representing his constituents.

As the debate heats up this week, Miller is hearing it.

“I’ve heard from both sides of the issue about immigration reform and its impact on the Inland Empire,” Miller said in a statement. “I’m continuing to listen and gather input from constituents, business leaders, and law enforcement to ensure the needs of the Inland Empire are met. I would not let the politics of the issue get in the way of supporting the best policies for Inland Empire families.”

For the GOP, the mobilizing on the right of the party is shaky political ground for moderates, who see reform as a chance to attract crucial Latino votes in November for vulnerable seats, like Miller’s, said John Pitney, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.

“Within the Republican party, there are the hard-liners who want stronger border control and the political pragmatists who feel like they should modify their stance to compete for the Hispanic vote,” said Pitney. “There are Democrats who argue that anything less than a pass to citizenship is inadequate so people in the middle are receiving fire from both sides. The idea of legalization is a middle ground but a potentially risky middle ground.”

And it’s vulnerable ground for Miller, being a Republican representative in a largely Democratic district, according to Pitney.

Already, Democrats Pete Aguilar, Danny Tillman, Eloise Gomez Reyes, and former Rep. Joe Baca want the seat in what is expected to be one of the most highly contested races for Congress.

“He has a huge political problem,” Pitney said of Miller. “The big question is will the middle ground be sufficient for him to win some Hispanic votes and some white moderate votes. But if I were running the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, if somebody asked me what district I would want to win, I would say Gary Miller’s. He’s at the top of the hit list.”

Arnulfo De La Cruz, president of Mi Familia Vota in Riverside, said his organization has talked to more than 4,000 voters in an effort to put pressure on Miller and to promote reform. He said the group protesting on Monday represents a minority opinion in the district.

“The majority think this needs to be done and there’s an urgency to it,” De La Cruz said. “If he continues to be silent on these issues, I think there’s going to be real consequences in the election. Because this is an issue, like healthcare, like jobs, like crime, this is a kitchen-table issue that family members are struggling with on a daily basis.”

OC Register 11/22/13

Meeting with Emmerson

By Hector Hernandez Jr.

Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:09 AM PST

On the morning of Nov. 20 about 15 members of the Redlands Tea Party and the We the People of Colton met with exiting Senator Bill Emmerson in his office to ask him to withdraw his signature from a letter signed by state Republicans urging House Republicans to demand a vote on immigration reform in Congress. After hearing the their comments Emmerson declined to remove his signature on the letter.
The members of the Redlands Tea Party asked Emmerson to remove his signature from the letter and write a new letter opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants based on their view that the original letter was a step in support of amnesty. Emmerson did not agreed with their understanding of the letter and decided to stand by the letter as a call for “comprehensive immigration reform.”  
“All the arguments you made are a perfect example of how the United States’ immigration policy is not working and I support a comprehensive fix to that. I don’t support amnesty and no place in the letter does it say amnesty,” Emmerson said.
The constituents, including several legally nationalized citizens, made comments to Emmerson highlighting their concerns in immigration reform and opposition to amnesty.
Greg Brittain, Redlands Tea Party spokesman, expressed concerns for the increased unemployment and decreased wages he expects American workers to experience following the amnesty of an estimated 20 million illegal immigrants.
“It’s also unfair to let everyone who’s broken the law to stay and work here when there are millions of people around the world waiting for their turn to immigrate legally,” Brittain said.
Following Emmerson’s decision to stand by the letter, Robin Hvidston said she was disappointed Emmerson did not withdrawn his signature. She was hoping Emmerson could use the act as a last action in support of his constituents.
“In my opinion Senator Emmerson is not representing his constituents,” Hvidston said. “I do not think his constituents support the letter he signed, and I’m very sad he won’t take a fresh look at it from his constituents’ view point.”
“Whenever you can speak to your legislature and he gives you the time to speak to him its good. I understand his position and I hope he understands our position,” said Adrian Asencio of the Redlands Tea Party. “Although he is leaving office it is important for our other legislatures to understand how we feel. There needs to be a change. I’m all for change and some of the things Emmerson said but it has to be done right.”
Hvidston said the group plans to meet with each of the 15 Republicans who signed the letter requesting their withdraw their signatures.
Daily Bulletin
Group holds vigil and begins 24-hour fast at Rep. Miller’s office

Home care workers from local union SEIU ULTCW and community partners gathered Tuesday at the office of Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, for a candlelight vigil prior to beginning a 24-hourhunger strike to demand the passage of immigration reform, according to a press release from the group.

11/19/13, 9:01 PM PST |


The goal of the vigil and hunger strike is to let Miller know “that common sense immigration reform must be a priority for Congress before they recess for the holidays.” The hunger strike will conclude at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a press conference and prayer circle at St. Anthony’s Church, in San Bernardino.

Members of We The People California’s Crusader protested in opposition to the group’s actions Tuesday.

“These events should be held in the protestors’ home countries – the actual source of their grievances and political redress,” Robin Hvidston, We The People Rising executive director, said in a statement. “We will be calling upon constituents to contact Congressman Miller, to request that he focus upon and write bills for struggling American families.”

Protesters target Mansoor’s office


Published: Oct. 30, 2013 Updated: Oct. 31, 2013 4:43 p.m.

A group of protesters targeted Republican Assemblyman Allan Mansoor’s Costa Mesa office Wednesday afternoon, asking him to withdraw his signature from a letter sent to the California Republican congressional delegation last month. The letter asked the members of Congress to call for a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

Fifteen California Republican legislators, including Mansoor, signed the letter. Many of the more than 20 protesters were from two groups opposed to illegal immigration: Claremont-based We the People Rising and California Coalition for Immigration Reform, based in Orange County. They lined the corner near Mansoor’s office and held signs reading “Hire Americans” and “Honk 4 USA.”

“We think Allan Mansoor should be focused on American workers,” said Robin Hvidston of We the People Rising. “Twenty-three million are looking for a job right now, 23 million Americans, veterans.”

Many passing drivers did honk in support.

“Arriba Mexico!” one man shouted from a car.

“That’s fine. Freedom of speech,” Hvidston said.

“People who cross here illegally, they’re desperately poor, so how are you going to get an economic renaissance from them?” said Robert Lauten, a protestor from Brea. The letter from the California legislators said immigration reform could “spur an economic renaissance.”

The protesters crowded into Mansoor’s office at around 4 p.m., and his staff split them into two groups.

“When I found out a few days ago that he signed a letter pro-amnesty … I was furious, and that’s why I’m here,” said Costa Mesa resident Mariann Chappell as she waited to speak with Mansoor.

In a packed conference room, Mansoor listened as the protestors took turns complaining about his signature on the letter. They also spoke to him about Assembly Bill 60, recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, which requires the state to issue drivers’ licenses to undocumented people. Mansoor told them he had opposed the law, but did sign the letter to members of Congress.

“I will follow up with you,” he told the protesters. Mansoor then spotted a Register reporter and photographer and asked staff to escort them from his office.

On Thursday, Mansoor said the protesting groups had sent inaccurate emails to gather support.

“It’s such a heated topic you can use the same word and different people will hear different things,” Mansoor said. “I told them that I’m going to be putting a response together in writing and I will share it with the public.”

Of his signature on the letter to the congressional delegation, Mansoor said, “The main point I was trying to make with the letter is that action needs to be taken and we need reform.” And, of course, reform means different things to different people.”

“First and foremost, we need to secure our borders before anything else is done. The continued inflow of illegal immigrants has to be stopped … before any other type of reform can take place. … And I do not support amnesty or automatic citizenship.”

Hvidston said the protestors aim to meet with each state legislator who signed the letter to members of Congress. They plan to visit the offices of Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, and State Senator Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, in the next couple of weeks, she said.

Contact the writer:

Daily Bulletin  October 24, 2013

Gov. Brown deserves to be recalled

I read the Sept. 25 article “Pomona immigrant rights rally urges governor to sign driver’s license bill.”

Driving is a privilege, not a human right.

Polls also show the California voters did not favor this bill. In a San Diego Union Tribune poll, 66 percent opposed the driver’s license bill and an Orange County Register poll concluded 74 percent of their respondees opposed the bill.

With driver’s licenses being granted, this will be a magnet to the world to illegally reside in California — as the word will spread that the state is the destination in order to obtain legal documentation.

This will also allow those illegally migrating to take more jobs from struggling American citizen workers.

Gov. Brown should be focused on the suffering unemployed American families and their children — not granting a privilege to those in our country illegally in order to compete for scarce jobs.

Gov. Brown should be recalled for signing a bill that will further harm the suffering American worker, American families and their children.

— Robin Hvidston,  Upland

Daily Bulletin

Activists hold rally in Rancho Cucamonga opposing amnesty  

— StaffBy Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Posted: 10/08/13, 5:40 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA  In response to recent national “Day of Dignity and Respect” demonstrations put on by immigration reform advocates, local activists who say they oppose amnesty for undocumented workers rallied Tuesday in front of the offices of local House representatives.

Claremont-based We The People, California’s Crusader, led by anti-illegal immigration activists Raymond Herrera and Robin Hvidston, returned to the Rancho Cucamonga office of Rep. Gary Miller, where last week they staged a counter protest when immigration reform activists were calling for Miller’s support.

“In Washington, they are holding a large rally in the mall, so today we are rallying in front of Congressmen Miller’s office,” Hvidston said. “We are calling for the support of American workers in legislation. The name of the event in Washington D.C. today is Dignity and Respect for American Workers.”

The activists say undocumented workers take jobs away from legal residents.

“We have American workers that have lost their jobs to people who are in this country illegally,” Hvidston said. “Construction jobs used to be good paying jobs for American citizens. Sadly, today those jobs are being filled by individuals who are in this country illegally.”

We The People, California’s Crusader, which was formed in 2009, has been busy campaigning against legislation they say would provide amnesty for millions of undocumented immigrants and policy decisions that allow the use of non-English languages on signage.

Herrera formed the group as an offshoot of his work as a Minuteman, patrolling the nation’s borders to watch for illegal immigrants entering the country.

“Amnesty is to surrender America as far as the American worker and the American family is concerned,” Herrera said.

The group hopes House members prevent a Senate-passed immigration reform bill from reaching the White House.

“We will send a clear message to our lawmakers, as constituents, to not pass amnesty legislation in the House of Representatives,” Hvidston said in a statement.

Martha Figueroa, political director for Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Action fund, attended last week’s rally at Miller’s office, in addition to the “Day of Dignity and Respect” rally in front of San Bernardino City Hall on Saturday.

“(Undocumented) people, for the most part, contribute to the economy, instead of taking from the economy,” Figueroa said. “In particular, immigrants do a lot of the jobs that most Americans don’t want to do, such as agriculture.”

We the People spread their message earlier in the day at the Huntington Beach office of Rep. Dana Rohrbacher.

Los Angeles Times Article

Signing Trust Act is another illegal-immigration milestone for Brown
By Patrick McGreevy

October 5, 2013, 7:36 p.m.


SACRAMENTO — On a day when immigrant-rights activists nationwide rallied for action from Washington, Gov. Jerry Brown put California at the vanguard of change, signing sweeping laws aimed at speeding the assimilation of those in the country illegally.

Brown signed eight bills Saturday, including one prohibiting local law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants longer than necessary for minor crimes so that federal immigration authorities can take custody of them.

Under the so-called Trust Act, immigrants in this country illegally would have to be charged with or convicted of a serious offense to be eligible for a 48-hour hold and transfer to U.S. immigration authorities for possible deportation.

The measure is the second milestone immigration bill signed by the governor in three days. On Thursday, he approved a measure allowing immigrants in the country illegally to receive California driver’s licenses.

“While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said. “I’m not waiting.”

Other bills signed Saturday will allow people in the country illegally to be licensed as lawyers, impose restrictions on those who charge a fee to help immigrants gain legal status, and make it a crime for employers to “induce fear” by threatening to report someone’s immigration status.

Immigrant-rights activists who were rallying for an end to gridlock in Washington on reform hailed Brown’s actions. The California Immigrant Policy Center on Saturday declared 2013 the “year of the immigrant” in California.

“Today marks the dawn of a new era in California’s immigrant communities,” said Reshma Shamasunder, the center’s executive director.

Brown told The Times recently that he wanted to move the state forward on issues that could change the national debate. His actions will probably affect discussions on immigration throughout the country, said John J. Pitney Jr., a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College.

“Advocates of more immigration laws are going to be watching California very closely, and if these laws work out well they will be able to use the state as Exhibit A in their case for national legislation,” Pitney said.

Some supporters of strict enforcement of immigration laws said Brown’s bill signings will be devastating for California.

“It’s sending the wrong message to the world,” said Robin Hvidston of Claremont, executive director of We the People Rising. “This is a message to the global community to come to the state of California illegally and you will get documentation and protection.”  

Many law enforcement agencies, including those in Los Angeles, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, already have adopted policies similar to those in the Trust Act. And immigration officials, who are not subject to the state law, can still detain and deport people following federal guidelines.

But Angela Chan of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco said the signing of the statewide law is “more than symbolic.”

She predicted it would prevent the detention of up to 20,000 immigrants a year by federal authorities mostly in rural parts of the state.

After Brown vetoed a bill similar to the Trust Act last year, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) changed his proposal to address the concerns of some law enforcement officials.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca opposed last year’s bill, but last December he announced he would no longer comply with federal requests to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally who are arrested for low-level crimes.

Later that month, the Obama administration announced it would no longer target those arrested for minor crimes for deportation.

Baca supports the bill signed Saturday as a “practical, reasonable approach” to the issue, said spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Ammiano’s AB 4 prohibits a law enforcement official from detaining an individual on the basis of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after that person becomes eligible for release, unless he or she

Opposition to Immigration Message

Protestors for Immigration reform face off against anti-immigration activists outside Congressman Ed Royce’s office in Brea. Video by Scott Bagley, 11/22/13

Orange County Register 9/14/13

Press Enterprise Riverside, CA

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Bishop Barnes to lead immigration-reform Mass

Bishop Gerald Barnes. Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise

Bishop Gerald Barnes. Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino, CA     The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino Saturday is holding a Mass to push for an immigration-reform bill.

Bishop Gerald Barnes will celebrate the Mass, which is part of a national Catholic Church effort to enact a law that would provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and more legal visas for future immigrant workers and family members of U.S. citizens and non-citizen residents.

“We see this as a social justice issue,” the Rev. Leonard De Pasquale, of St. Bernardine Catholic Church in San Bernardino, told me. “We believe legislation is needed so families won’t have to be separated and so families can live normal lives, and not in fear.”

In June, the Senate approved a comprehensive immigration-reform bill with a path to citizenship and stepped-up border security. But Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled House say they favor a more piecemeal approach, and few House Republicans have publicly supported a path to citizenship, the top priority of immigrant-rights groups.

The Mass begins at 4 p.m. at St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church in Yucaipa.

An informational forum – organized with Inland Congregations United for Change – will follow the Mass. It will include testimonies from two people who are seeking legal permanent residency and would benefit from immigration reform. One is a Nigerian woman who would be forced to leave the United States if her husband, who obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Inland universities, cannot find an employer to sponsor him, said Hilda Cruz, coordinator of the diocese’s Justice for Immigrants campaign.

Barnes, who is of Mexican and Irish ancestry, has been a national leader on immigration-related issues in the Catholic Church, serving from 2004 to 2007 as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration and Refugee Services.

The Mass was scheduled for Saturday because Congress is now in recess, and most members are in their home districts, diocesan spokesman John Andrews said. All Inland members of Congress were invited to the Mass, he said.

Robin Hvidston, executive director of the anti-illegal-immigration group We the People, California’s Crusader, said that, as a tax-exempt institution, the Catholic Church shouldn’t be pushing for the passage of congressional legislation.

“It’s wrong they’re using their tax-free religious pulpit to promote a political message,” she said.

Instead of calling for citizenship for millions of people living in the United States illegally, the church should do more to improve the lives of people in countries such as Mexico and Guatemala, so they don’t feel the economic need to leave their home countries, she said.

Focus on immigration reform all wrong

August 15, 2013

I read the Aug. 2 editorial “On immigration, get down to business.”

The statement that the Senate Immigration Bill would be good for the nation’s economic bottom line is rhetoric being used by those who want to promote exploitative, cheap labor — at the expense of American workers.

Studies have shown that the Senate immigration bill in the next 10 years would bring more than 30 million foreign national job seekers to the U.S.

The newspaper did not cover the Senate immigration bill facts. The legalization segments are to be enacted as law; the border security portions are plans, not law.

In addition, the bill, S744, is more than 1,000 pages and is filled with contradictions and leniency for those who broke the law. Chris Crane who heads up the union representing 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents has denounced the bill. And here is why — a person in our country illegally may have committed two misdemeanors and will still qualify for legal status.

Individuals who have been deported will be eligible for this new legal status.

If the editorial board is claiming that illegal immigration improves our economy, I would ask the board to take a field trip to communities where illegal aliens reside and then report back on the schools, illegal businesses, gang terror and lawlessness.

Most important, who did the editorial board leave out of their editorial? American workers and their families. Sen. Jeff Sessions, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, has complained that the bill would provide amnesty for illegal residents before strengthening border enforcement and harm U.S. workers already affected by high unemployment rates.

It is an outrage that U.S. lawmakers are writing legislation and focused on individuals in the U.S. unlawfully when American citizens are in dire straits. More than 23 million Americans are looking for a job. Homelessness is burgeoning — one in 46 American children will live in poverty during their childhood. Our nation’s veterans live in abject poverty. Suffering Americans should be the focus of U.S. lawmakers.

­— Robin Hvidston, Upland

PBS News Video Congressman Gary Miler – Rally No Amnesty

Republicans Face Immigration Pressure from Both Sides

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Immigration reform supporters, opponents rally at Rep. Miller’s office

Posted:   07/26/2013 08:51:28 PM PDT

Advocates from both ends of the immigration reform  debate rally at Rep. Gary Miller s office in Rancho Cucamonga. Immigration reform supporters are calling on Miller to support legislation to allow a path for citizenship for undocumented residents. (Neil Nisperos/Staff)

RANCHO CUCAMONGA — Scores of advocates on both sides of the national immigration issue converged Friday at the office of a local congressman to rally their causes.

About two dozen immigration reform advocates from the Justice for Immigration Coalition are asking Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, to support legislation that would allow a path for citizenship for 11 million undocumented citizens.  

“I’m here in support of a new law on immigration because the one that we have does not answer the needs of the people,” said San Bernardino County Diocese Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio Del Riego, who came on behalf of the diocese in support of immigration reform. “We need a new law on immigration that is comprehensive, not piece by piece, and includes the path to citizenship and contributes to the unity of families.”  

Benjamin Wood, an organizer with the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, and the Rancho Cucamonga Day Laborers, had a petition signed by nearly 700 in San Bernardino County to show the congressman “how much the folks in his district support immigration reform.”  

“There’s too many people living in the shadows, and it’s time for people to participate fully in a society that they’ve been a part of for a number of years,” Wood said.  

Also at Miller’s office on Friday were about two dozen supporters of legal immigration and jobs for American workers. Among them were anti-illegal immigration advocates, including those from the Claremont-based We The People California’s Crusader, who are against legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to become citizens.  

Vicky Arzaga-Chapman of Rancho Cucamonga is involved with the group.  

“I understand that they want citizenship,” said Arzaga-Chapman. “I’m Filipino and I have a lot of friends who became legal U.S. citizens, but you have to go about it the right way. I don’t begrudge any of them, but they need to go the legal route, and I’m not talking about changing the laws to have them become citizens.”  

Rancho Cucamonga resident John Batten, who was with the group of anti-illegal immigration advocates, said he was rallying for American workers.  

“We have over 22 million unemployed Americans and American veterans. I want to see them get jobs, not somebody who comes across the border illegally. I’m all for immigration — that’s what made this country great. We have to have legal immigration and we need jobs for Americans.”  

Chris Marsh, district director for Miller, said the congressman agrees “the system is badly broken in need of fixing” but is focusing on two priorities right now as far as the immigration debate goes.  

Marsh said Miller’s priorities are “making sure American jobs are preserved for American workers,” and to strengthen the nation’s borders and coastlines.  

“Once those priorities are met, we can discuss all other aspects of the immigration debate,” Marsh said.