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Activists hold car rally for immigration reform in front of Rep. Young Kim’s office

A man confronts Victor Valladares, left, and Janeth Bucio with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.
A man who chose not to provide his name confronts Victor Valladares and Janeth Bucio with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights during a car rally and press conference in front of the office of Rep. Young Kim’s office in Placentia to get her to support immigration reform on Wednesday, March 24.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Immigration-rights activists held a car rally outside of Rep. Young Kim’s (R-Fullerton) office on Wednesday as part of a national effort to advocate for legal status for 11 million immigrants.

The event was part of Relay Across America, which was launched by immigrant-rights groups CHIRLA and FIRM Action Network.

The effort was aimed at drawing attention and support for the U.S. Citizenship Act, an immigration reform bill that President Joe Biden sent to Congress in late January. The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who lack legal status in the country, including people who are temporarily protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

About 20 cars drove by Kim’s office in Placentia in the early afternoon. The caravan was followed by a short press conference.

Cars with immigration reform advocates line up during a rally.
Cars with immigration reform advocates line up during a rally in front of Rep. Young Kim’s office in Placentia on Wednesday, March 24.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“The U.S. Citizenship Act is important to me because I’ve made a promise to my parents,” said Karen Osorio, a DACA recipient with CHIRLA. “We shouldn’t conform to DACA, we need an immigration reform for all 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.

“I am a mother to a 3-year-old, Sophia. And I’ve made a promise to her. I can’t imagine being deported and separated from her. I am fighting for her. We demand Representative Young Kim to stand with immigrants and support the U.S. Citizenship Act.”

As they spoke, activists honked their horns in support.

At one point, a man who would not identify himself got into a screaming argument with the activists.

Kim’s spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment regarding the rally.

During a phone interview prior to the rally, Janeth Bucio, Orange County regional organizer for CHIRLA, said that events will be held in other states, but the group has particularly focused on California because of the undocumented population.

David Jimes, with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, at the office of Rep. Young Kim.
David Jimes, with CLUE, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, holds a sign during a press conference in front of Rep. Young Kim’s office in Placentia on Wednesday, March 24.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Bucio said they chose to bring the rally to Kim’s office to let her know that she’s in a congressional district that has a very significant amount of undocumented constituents.

The House approved two immigration reform bills last week that Kim voted against.

“Young Kim hasn’t really done anything so far to let us know that she supports the immigrant community,” Bucio said.

Bucio said CHIRLA also partnered with St. Philip Benizi Church in Fullerton, the LGBTQ Orange County center and OCCCO for the event.

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