Immigration reform activists gather in Bakersfield for small rally

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) The Kern County Coalition on Immigration Reform, along with other volunteers, gathered Saturday at Patriots Park to bring awareness to the issue of immigration reform.

They went knocking on doors with the goal of informing community members about the current issues and to also register new voters.

Andrae Gonzales, Bakersfield City School District Board trustee, was there in full support of the activists.

"What we're trying to do is go out and talk to families throughout our community, register people to vote," said Gonzales, "so we can strengthen our numbers, and talk to voters about their concerns."

The activists and volunteers knocked on 600 doors and talked to over 200 people. They also registered 20 new voters and said that the overall reaction from members of the community was positive.

After knocking on doors, they headed back to Patriots Park, where a small rally took place.

The theme of the event was "Honoring Our Mothers' Dreams," something that falls in place with this weekend's holiday.

"As we celebrate Mother's Day weekend, we know there are thousands of mothers in our community here who will not be with their families," said Gonzales.

He said this is because of the failure of Congress to pass immigration reform.

The activists said that they have been trying to get the attention of Congressman Kevin McCarthy but have not had any luck.

They will compile the data they collected this weekend and put it in a letter to McCarthy in hopes that he will address the issue.

"Kevin McCarthy, he's going to have to hear us, and he'll know that his hometown thinks a certain way," said activist Leonel Teran. "We're getting informed. This is not just a decision they make without us."