By Pedro Rios.
Twenty years ago today, I felt a lump in my throat as I began the hour drive from San Francisco to Sacramento to join the first-ever Immigrant Day.
The anti-immigrant fervor at the time had manifested itself in frightening ways. The spirit of California’s anti-immigrant initiative from 1994, Proposition 187, had catapulted its way to Washington, D.C., fueling the backlash against newcomer communities. Immigration and welfare reforms dominated the local and national policy agendas.
We couldn’t stay silent in the face of discriminatory laws and hateful rhetoric that targeted the most vulnerable in our communities.