Protesters gathered outside the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental in the swank Mexico City district of Polanco as US President Barack Obama arrived April 14 to deliver a letter demanding rights for immigrants in the United States. The letter calls for far-reaching immigration reform, an end to raids and deportation of undocumented migrants, and a halt to the border wall. It rejects a “bracero” or guest worker program, and also calls for a withdrawal of US forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
María García, leader of the Casa Aztlán Chicago and a candidate for federal deputy with the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) led the protest with Fernando Suárez del Solar, father of a Mexican immigrant soldier killed in Iraq in March 2003; Gerardo Trejo of the US-based League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Iniciativa Mexicana contra la Guerra. They expressed support for deported Chicago activist Elvira Arellano, who held public protests demanding immigration form after Obama’s election. Meanwhile, the campesino movement “Sin Maíz no hay País” delivered a letter to the US embassy demanding the renegotiation of NAFTA. (CIMAC, April 14)