INDIO, Calif. - Hundreds of thousands took to the street Monday to march in May Day demonstrations. In Indio dozens gathered outside of the Indio Border Patrol Station to show their resistance agaisnt President Donald Trump's immigration policies.
Carmen Ginter helped organize the demonstration. She says her goal is to raise awareness.
"There's a lot of fear. If you're a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, if you're a citizen and your parents are undocumented, they just don't want to come out and say anything, for fear of repercussion. For fear of discrimination," Ginter said.
Cindy Hernandez is a local Valley teacher. She says she knows first hand the fear some people are feeling. She watched her parents get deported nearly 20 years ago.
"I saw border patrol officers deport my family. They came in very aggressively, knocking down doors, throwing them on the floor, hand cuffing them, and dragging them out like criminals. We were just sitting down enjoying dinner. No questions asked, and we were separated for a few months," Hernandez said.
It wasn't until President Reagan's Amnesty policy that they gained their citizenship and now Hernandez says her students are raising concerns.
"'Teacher Ms. H, are my parents going to be deported? What's going to happen?' Somebody was taken, I believe in Palm Desert, at church for a traffic violation. If you have a speeding ticket, and many of us have had speeding tickets some time in our history, and that's enough. You've got a record. You've violated the law for speeding, so you're being deported. It's not specifically people who have committed a violent crime. It's not just violent offenders. It is average people, families, parents, children," Hernandez said.
Protestors say this won't be the last demonstration. They won't stop until they see a positive change from the administration.
In addition to May Day marches, many local businesses with immigrant ties are closing their doors in honor of May Day.
The national movement roots back to 2006, when the focus narrowed on immigration as more than a million people took to the streets to protest a proposed immigration enforcement bill. Now, nearly 11 years later, tensions have resurfaced as President Donald Trump continues to pursue immigration enforcement, leaving many fearful.