Some leaders of San Diego’s immigrant community spoke Thursday in response to President Donald Trump signing several executive actions regarding immigration.
In front of a crowd chanting "si se puede (in English, "yes we can"), immigration lawyers, local mayors, local city councilors and other leaders decried Trump's recent orders.
The movement was organized by the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and took place at the San Diego County Administration Center,
Trump signed several measures Wednesday including one to jumpstart construction of the promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. He also ordered cuts in federal grants for immigrant-protecting "sanctuary cities" and a boost in the number of border patrol agents and immigration officers, pending congressional funding.
"It's only been a week, but Trump's presidency is worse than many us believed it would be," said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Salas.
The mayor spoke of her immigrant roots, noting the diversity of her city and the amount who come from immigrant families.
"We are a nation of immigrants," she said.
Local faith leaders and San Diego City Councilor Chris Ward struck the same theme in their remarks.
"I'm enraged by these draconian policies," Ward said, noting the executive orders also strip communities of sovereignly governing.
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., NBC News reports, and the federal government has only limited capacity to identify, prosecute, and deport violators.
The consortium includes local community activists and organizations that work to support comprehensive immigration reform, among other issues.