A group of students from the organization, Brown Issues, held a pro-immigrant rights demonstration Saturday night during the halftime show of the Kings vs. Clippers game at the Golden 1 Center when they unveiled a butterfly that said, ‘Defend DACA’.
DACA is the program that allows some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as young children to stay and work here.
“I remember looking up, and this energy went through me and I started tearing up,” said Lilia Contreras, a DACA recipient and member of Brown Issues.
"The Kings knew about us coming out with a butterfly, but people didn't know what the message was on the back which is to 'Defend DACA'. That was a shocker for the crowd,” explains Contreras.
The college student came to California at the age of 8. “As we're unveiling the butterfly, we're expecting the worse. We're expecting even popcorn being thrown at us.”
Instead, she said the crowded responded with cheers and applause.
“Seeing the reaction of the crowd was definitely unexpected, but it's what's going to take us to the next level,” said Alma Lopez, one of the leaders of Brown Issues.
According to Lopez, this was the first time a demonstration of this kind took place on an NBA court.
"California is a state that leads and when California leads, everyone else follows and that's how we want to make sure that we take this message to the national level.
Lopez says Saturday's act was about more than defending DACA. "I think last night has been the moment that we've all been waiting for, so that our young ones and our families are able to see that we are here to rise up as one. Despite our immigration status, as a brown Latino community, we're standing with each other," Lopez said.
As for Contreras, she's hoping members of Congress will join forces and come up with a solution that will allow her and her family to stay together.
“If Congress doesn't come together and do something, all my hard work and my parents’ hard work, and of a lot of families, will be hanging on thread.”
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