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Immigrant RightsNAKASEC in the News

NAKASEC in the News: At a Crossroads in Costa Mesa for Immigration Reform

By June 15, 2010No Comments


12 arrested in mall immigration protest from L.A. County


2010-06-15 09:15:48


COSTA MESA – The 12 immigration rights protesters arrested after they snarled traffic by blocking a major thoroughfare for about an hour Monday near South Coast Plaza were all from Los Angeles County, Costa Mesa police said Tuesday.

They joined about 200 demonstrators who descended on the shopping landmark about 3 p.m. to protest the Costa Mesa City Council’s recent resolution to declare the city a “Rule of Law City” that does not welcome those who are in the country illegally. The protesters also denounced Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law.

The demonstration was a highly-orchestrated event by leaders of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles who had the names of those who’d planned to be arrested before it actually happened. Buses pulled into the area about 6 p.m. to take protesters  home.

Those arrested locked arms in tubes and strapped their feet together with duct tape as they sat at a table in the middle of traffic near the intersection of Anton Boulevard and Bristol Street.

Fellow protesters cheered and commuters honked in frustration as police arrested and led each person away from the table. Police eventually directed traffic away from the intersection.

The first to be taken away was a man identified as Carlos Roberto Coronel. He identified himself as a U.S. citizen and a Marine who served twice in Iraq.

“We’re standing up for our families,” Coronel said while at the table. “We’re standing up for our country. We’re fighting for our future, and we want immigration reform.”

Police said the following were arrested:

  • Ana Cid, 18, of Los Angeles
  • Angelica Salas, 39, of Pasadena
  • Eun Sook Lee, 42, of Los Angeles
  • Bianette Guadalupe Linares, 19, of Los Angeles
  • Jonathan Daniel Klein, 41, of Los Angeles
  • Carlos Roberto Coronel, 27, of Sun Valley
  • Balmore Dominguez, 21, of Los Angeles
  • Felipe Escobar, 22, of North Hollywood
  • Lewis Logan, 46, of Los Angeles
  • Jonathan Carmona, 21, Asuza
  • Neil Rivas, 26, Santa Clarita
  • Frank Alton, 58, Los Angeles

The 12 were arrested on suspicion of a variety of misdemeanors, including unlawful assembly, public nuisance and not obeying officers, Costa Mesa Sgt. Matt Grimmond said.

Police said they will recommend that charges be filed with the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Officers cited and released the group by 8 p.m. Monday and the 12 got into a bus that was waiting to take them home, Grimmond said.

Before hopping on the bus, however, the group staged an encore of their earlier protest.

“They started protesting, marching outside our police station,” Grimmond said.

At the first protest, some motorists stuck in traffic confronted the protesters while others complained from their vehicles.

“They have a right to protest, but no right to protest in traffic,” said Diane Beeson of Mission Viejo, who was stuck in traffic for 20 minutes and frustrated at police for not clearing traffic sooner.

It was the latest in a string of protests, shows of support, and backlash directed at the city, which has taken a strong stance against illegal immigration.

Some Latino lawmakers in Sacramento threatened to block the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds to the city from the state after city officials passed the resolution. Click here to read the story.

The City Council’s resolution, recommended by long-time illegal immigration opponent Mayor Allan Mansoor, makes it clear that those in the country illegally are not welcome in Costa Mesa. Click here to read the story.

Klein, a Rabbi, said he had planned to be arrested Monday along with other clergy from a Presbyterian Church and African-American Methodist church.

“Our focus is how a broken immigration system breaks apart families,” said Klein, executive director for the Los Angeles chapter of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. “The goal is to get people to recognize how a broken system leads to exploitation of workers. We have a general religious theme, a moral frame that is we love the stranger.”

Protesters carried banners and posters, such as those reading “Legalization for All”, “and “No to Immigrant Scapegoating.”

It was also the most recent protest addressing the controversial Arizona law that makes it a crime to lack immigration papers and requires police to ask for documentation of legal status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person they stopped is in the country illegally.

A group of 40 locals returned early Monday from a Sunday rally in Phoenix, where they joined others critical of the law. Click here to read the story.

The weekend before, the Register followed a group of 15 local anti-illegal immigration activists who left Garden Grove for a rally in Phoenix. The “Phoenix Rising” event on Saturday drew hundreds to the state capitol in support of the law. Click here to read the story.

The law has also sparked an anti-Arizona protest in Santa Ana and a flurry of city officials to request that their city either denounce or support the law.

To read a comprehensive story on Orange County cities’ reactions to this issue, click here.

Monday night, a council member in Cypress unsuccessfully tried to get his city to take on a similar resolution.

Click here to read the story.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7924 or


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