March for immigration reform

Bianca Rae, CBS Local 2 Anchor & Reporter, bianca.rae@cbslocal2.com
POSTED: 05:22 PM PDT Mar 23, 2013    UPDATED: 05:50 PM PDT Mar 23, 2013 
COACHELLA, Calif. -

"Cesar used to say, "What we need is not perfect government organizations,  but what we need is perfect participation,'" Coachella city council member Steven Hernandez said.

The crowd of almost 200 people marching for one goal in Coachella Saturday afternoon would have made Chavez proud. That goal -- to encourage a new immigration process allowing the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. a path to citizenship.

"We want to deliver a message to the federal government and to our local people here that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary for the economy and overall for humanity,"Assemblyman Manuel Perez said.

This celebration and march was in honor of Cesar E. Chavez, founder of United Farm Workers of America.
   
"My kids go to Cesar Chavez School.  It has a big meaning to us. We're here to support the people that started the whole union," Coachella resident Martha Renteria said.

As you can see, Chavez's legacy gets very personal in Coachella.

"A lot of people like to think that the first grape boycott began in Delano, when in reality it actually happened here in Coachella. It started with the Filipino movement. It was Cesar Chavez that joined local Filipino's that were here already here working the fields, their very first boycott," Perez said.

Participants here are following in his footsteps to address today's issues.

"There are a lot of immigrants here in the Coachella Valley, and these immigrants are extremely important to our agriculture industry, our housing construction industry. So when we have immigration reform, it only helps to dignify and reinforce what a lot of members of the community believe in. That is the American dream," Hernandez said.

Today's event was part of a series of marches planned in other parts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Washington D.C. in the next few months.