Although a couple hundred activists marched on May 1 to celebrate International Workers’ Day, the crowd felt small compared to recent protests that have packed downtown streets. Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) organizer Frank Rodriguez thought turnout was impacted by work schedules and growing fears about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
As California plans to fight President Trump’s immigration initiatives, CAUSE has called on Assemblymember Monique Limón to support SB 54, known as the “sanctuary state” bill. The law would considerably limit area law enforcement’s cooperation with ICE officials, barring “serious or violent felonies.” But Limón — who has been visible at Know Your Rights events and is the daughter of immigrants — has remained silent as the bill has approached the Assembly floor. Law enforcement has been highly critical of the bill. When asked, a spokesperson said such opposition has not prevented Limón from supporting the bill, adding that her practice is to wait until the language is final and she receives feedback from her constituents.
In related news, hundreds of marchers set out from La Playa Stadium on April 29 and walked to Shoreline Park and back for the nationwide People’s Climate March. Organizers reportedly gathered petition signatures to encourage Santa Barbara County supervisors to vote against any oil and gas development proposals that may emerge from President Donald Trump’s push to ramp up domestic fossil fuel production.