Cesar Chavez's son carries on father's legacy, inspiring new generations

EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- Friday marks what would have been the 90th birthday for civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, and after the labor leader died in 1993, his son has carried on his father's legacy.

Cesar Chavez is an icon of the farm workers' rights movement, a legacy Fernando Chavez is proud to share. Many students at El Monte High School were eager to listen about the beloved leader, and it meant even more on Caesar Chavez Day.

Fernando Chavez feels his father's message is as important as ever, especially for undocumented immigrants under the Trump administration.

"Just about every person that I interact with has either a family member or knows someone who is undocumented and is fearful of what's happening in this country today," Fernando Chavez said.

As the head of a labor organization, Cesar Chavez's views on immigrants were not always so cut and dry. He often viewed immigrants as competition for his workers.

Students concerned about immigrant rights admit there is heightened apprehension in the immigrant community, and Cesar Chavez's drive for change can serve as an inspiration.

"Cesar Chavez is like a hero to us, the Mexican-American race...he did a lot of stuff for our community, and I do believe we should have a day for him," shared student Jose Acevedo.

In uncertain times, the commitment of Cesar Chavez is being remembered, and some say they are ready to pick up the mantle.
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