Immigrant Children Crisis Sparks Protest in Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
People across the Central Valley weighed-in Saturday morning, over the recent immigration crisis involving tens of thousands of children caught crossing into the United States illegally.
Margie Hoff joined nearly a dozen people along Olive avenue, on the Highway 99 overpassholding American flags, and signs calling out the government for its failure to address the immigration issue.
A similar protest was held in Tulare.
"There's too many of us that have been too silent, too long," she says.
Hoff drove from Merced to Fresno--- one of about 300 sites across the country where protests were planned.
"Kids don't walk across 1,200 miles on their ownand their parents don't say, ' Here, go!' It doesn't make sense to me," Hoff said, of the recent crisis.
The U.S. Border Patrol expects to arrest as many as 90,000 undocumented children caught crossing into the U.S. by year's end.
Paul Willingham was among those who helped organize the protest in Fresno.
He's part of a grass-roots movement called "Overpasses for America."
He said the goal is to, "Let people know you're ticked off and you're not gonna take it any more."
He waved a huge American flag, and wore a t-shirt calling for U.S. President Barack Obama's Impeachment.
"There are people coming into this country that are totally undocumented, with health issues, criminal backgrounds," Willingham says.
"We are doing stuff that's begging for trouble here."
While some drivers honked in support of the protest, not everyone was convinced by what they read on the signslet alone the purpose of the protest.
"It's not fair, it's not right, it's disgusting," said Brian Sumner.
Sumner called the immigration crisis a humanitarian issue.
He says the protestors shouldn't be blaming the people for trying to come into the U.S.
"These people from Honduras, and from Mexico. They're not immigrants, they're refugees," Sumner says.
"They're breaking the law to come here where they can hopefully prosper and live a life of somewhat comfort."
Hoff says the only solution to the crisis: send the children back to their home countries.
"They have family at home," she says.
"I feel sorry they're in a bad situation, but we've got people here in a bad situation. We got poor people here that need help. Every country needs to take care of their own."