Protesters rallied in Boyle Heights on Wednesday to call for stronger protections for immigrants around the country as the federal government attempts to make it more difficult for people to seek and qualify for refuge in the United States.

A group of about 100 people, led by Centro CSO, an activist community group, and endorsed by groups that include the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council and United Teachers of Los Angeles, gathered at the corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and Mathews Street before walking to Mariachi Plaza for a rally.

“We’re trying to demand justice for things that matter in Boyle Heights,” said Marisol Márquez, an organizer with Centro CSO. “We’re urging for legalization for all and, of course, against deportation. We want people to understand that when you stand up and fight back, you can win.”

In response to a wave of Central American migrants arriving at the southern border with Mexico, President Donald Trump issued a memo on Monday directing immigration officials to implement policies that would discourage immigrants from applying for asylum, legal residency granted to someone who is found to be likely to be persecuted if he or she returns home.

The memo directed the Department of Homeland Security to bar asylum seekers who entered the country illegally from obtaining work authorization and to impose a fee for applying for asylum. The president also directed DHS to resolve most asylum petitions judicially within 180 days, as well as “improve the integrity” of the “credible fear” interview process, the first step in applying for asylum.

“Our immigration and asylum system is in crisis as a consequence of the mass migration of aliens across our southern border,” Trump said in the memo. He had declared a national emergency in February to try to access $6.7 billion in funding to begin building a wall along the border with Mexico. So far, only about $1 billion has been allocated for the wall by the Department of Defense.

Márquez said one of the goals of the rally was to call for an overhaul of the immigration system, not just reversing the harsher policies of the Trump Administration, but working toward a pathway for amnesty and citizenship for all undocumented immigrants.

“Our biggest problem in regards to immigration and the lack of good policy is that there is no legalization for any of the undocumented, and that needs to happen as soon as possible,” Márquez said.

May 1, International Workers’ Day, was chosen as the date for the rally to emphasize the similarity between struggles for immigrant justice and workers’ rights, according to a statement from rally organizers.

“This country needs a complete overhaul, and we need to start trying to address the issues that matter to the working class,” Márquez added.

The rally also called for criminal justice reforms after a series of police shootings against young men of color in the community, including the 2016 deaths of Jose Mendez and Jesse Romero, who both immigrated to the United States from Mexico as children and were raised in Boyle Heights.

Marchers gathered at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollenbeck Station to demand police accountability and protest the use of deadly force. Lisa Vargas, whose 21-year-old son, Anthony, was killed last year by sheriff’s deputies as he ran from them, said at the rally that her family had been denied information about her son’s death and that no officers had been prosecuted.

“People that don’t rise and speak up about this injustice are just as guilty as they are,” Vargas said. “We ask today that everyone stand behind us, remember those that we lost and remember this fight is not just for us. This fight is for you that have children out there.”

Photos and additional reporting by Oscar Vargas.

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