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“East of Salinas” and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals / DACA Renewal Clinics in the Monterey Bay Region

Garner neighborhood (a neighborhood in the film, e.g., at 36:45)
In the film “East of Salinas,” at 17:00+, you’ll hear: We gave them helmets, but they don’t have bicycles—or skateboards, or scooters.

When people think of Monterey County, many think of affluence in Carmel and Pebble Beach. They may be unaware of the large numbers of people in the county who are living in poverty (e.g., — among them, many migrant workers and their children. 

In my bicycling outreach in East Salinas/, in North and South County, and in the Monterey Peninsula city of Seaside, as well as from mentoring youth, e.g., some transitioning from, I’ve witnessed the impact of many of the experiences described in “East of Salinas.” Just a few examples : (1) The impact on a child’s education and more when their family moves to many different school districts during the child’s life, as shown in 20:00+ and 39:22+ “third school this year.” (2) Children who have nothing to eat until a meal at school, as told in 22:00+. (3) Children being unable to play outdoors; see 28:00+. (4) Children who’ve never seen a beach—although, for example, Salinas River Beach is about 13 miles from East Salinas. 

Until Oct 1, 2017, “East of Salinas” may be viewed free online at

At 47:25+, unable to go with his younger siblings—who are American citizens—to visit their grandparents, young José Ansaldo says, “I think I’m starting to understand what it means if I don’t have my papers.”
For an update on José, and related info, see Amy Wu’s story in the Salinas Californian, He’s an all-American boy, but will he ever be an American?
National Public Radio provides a short Q&A on
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals / DACA,
5 Questions About DACA Answered.
Many law enforcement officials—ranging from the California Attorney General to the City of Santa Cruz Police Chief—are among millions of other California citizens who support DACA. NPR’s “5 Questions” reports “nearly two-thirds of Americans favor allowing the DREAMers to stay in the U.S.”

Monterey County Office of Education provides a DACA resources page. Public libraries, including the Castroville branch and other Monterey County Free Libraries, provide immigration and citizenship resources.

In the Monterey Bay region, DACA renewal clinics are being held in Monterey County cities of Greenfield and Salinas, and in the Santa Cruz County city of Watsonville and community of Aptos.
People have various concerns about immigration issues. When it comes to DACA, “East of Salinas” provides an opportunity to see one of the children whose future will be impacted unless Congress passes the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act and prevents the rescinding of the DACA program. See for answers to some common questions.

Update, 9/12/17:

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors—Jane Parker, John Phillips, Luis Alejo, Mary Adams, and Simon Salinas—voted unanimously on 9/12/17 to make Monterey County one of two “Dreamers Counties” in the Monterey Bay region. The other is Santa Cruz County, where their 9/12/17 vote was also unanimous. Supervisor Alejo, who proposed the resolution, stated that county leaders believe these are the first two Dreamers Counties in the nation. For more about Monterey County, see Amy Wu’s 9/12/17 story in the Salinas Californian, “Monterey County declared a ‘Dreamers County.‘”

Below: Salinas Valley field work.

How does a typical school day begin for José Ansaldo ? The film (3:44) shows the daily routine: José and his siblings leave their home with their mother at 4 a.m. to be dropped off at a babysitter’s, so their mother can set out for her agricultural field work. The children are reawakened by the babysitter at 6 a.m. to prepare for school.


Immigration-related posts on this site:

Aussies, others ask: Immigration – What’s up with U.S. policies?

ICE Advisory for People Who Bike – Immigrants and Law Enforcement in Monterey County


This post was published on 10 September 2017. One or more changes last made to this post on 12 September 2017.

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