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Marchers unite with Murrieta riders for immigrants

Participants take part in a march to raise awareness for immigrant’s rights along California Highway 33 from Firebaugh to Mendota on July 28, 2018. The marchers were a part of Saturday’s Joaquín Murrieta Pilgrimage of horseback riders on the route, who were in their second-of-three day ride honoring Murrieta.
Participants take part in a march to raise awareness for immigrant’s rights along California Highway 33 from Firebaugh to Mendota on July 28, 2018. The marchers were a part of Saturday’s Joaquín Murrieta Pilgrimage of horseback riders on the route, who were in their second-of-three day ride honoring Murrieta.

All immigrants were hailed and the message to President Donald J. Trump was sent from the Joaquín Murrieta Pilgrimage in east Fresno County.

Riders and marchers joined forces on the second-of-three day pilgrimage honoring Murrieta on Saturday (July 28) on a highway between Firebaugh and Mendota.. The annual pilgrimage attracts participants from throughout the state and, this year, immigrants’ rights are a big issue.

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Horseback riders in the Joaquín Murrieta Pilgrimage ride along Highway 33 from Firebaugh to Mendota on July 28. The riders were in their second-of-three day ride honoring Murrieta.

“This is for no more separation of families, no more deportations, and we want reform. We have the support of the Joaquín Murrieta riders,” said marcher Guadalupe Cervantes, who also organized about 20 marchers to come from Fresno.

The marchers chanted and motorists responded with honking horns along Highway 33, which is flanked by acreage of agriculture. They gathered at a park in Mendota after walking about 8 miles from Firebaugh. The Murrieta riders, many former and current farmworkers, showed their support in the ride.

“They left ahead of us,” said Edith González, the granddaughter of Julián Orozco, one of the organizers of the original local Murrieta ride in 1978.

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Raúl González crosses Highway 33 between Firebaugh and Mendota while riding the Joaquíín Murrieta Pilgrimage on July 28.

“They’re walking and we’ll catch up to them along the ride.”

Many felt the the march and Murrieta, who was also called the Mexican Robin Hood, is a fitting tribute. Thousands of immigrant workers arrived to this country to work the fields, and they should be respected for their input, said Stan Santos of the Comité de los Derechos de los Inmigrantes del Valle Central.

He added both Firebaugh and Mendota are huge immigrant, farmworking communities.

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Participants take part in a march to raise awareness for immigrant’s rights along California Highway 33 from Firebaugh to Mendota on July 28, 2018. The marchers were a part of Saturday’s Joaquín Murrieta Pilgrimage of horseback riders on the route, who were in their second-of-three day ride honoring Murrieta.

“We’re marching alongside the 40th anniversary of Murrieta ride, this is a very historical event, and I can see where they join together. We chose this leg of Firebaugh to Mendota because Firebaugh is an agricultural community,” said Santos.

“My father came around 1930 and they lived in tent cities, they built the early agricultural industry. Some went to war and then came back and contributed to this country. Mendota was a big Mexican community, but now has a big Salvadoran community, which has been affected by the cancellation of TPS (Temporary Protective Status) program.”

Approximately 300,000 immigrants living in the U.S. are affected by the cancellation of TPS, a program that offered immigrants entry to the U.S. and escape disaster and war in their respective countries.

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