Sunday, September 20, 2020

May Day Rallies Also Manifest ‘Day Without Immigrants’

On May Day Monday, thousands of immigrants, activists, workers and allies, in more than 40 cities across the country, took to the streets to join in the national “Day Without Immigrants” strike. Organizers said the protest was in response to President Trump’s anti-immigration policies.

“We’re looking for protection and respect for the immigrant community, especially when it comes to the Trump administration,” said Elsa Rodriguez, a former undocumented immigrant. “This administration calls us criminals, they treat us negatively, but this country depends on immigrants, it was founded on immigrants. Even if we don’t have papers we deserve respect.”

Rodriguez missed work from her two jobs just to participate in a march at Lincoln Park in Newark, New Jersey. The May Day marches for immigrants were organized by several grassroots organizations around the country, including The Cosecha Movement, AFL-CIO, United We Dream, The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and Voces De La Frontera.

“This Day Without Immigrants is the first step in a series of strikes and boycotts that will change the conversation on immigration in the United States,” Cosecha Movement’s Maria Fernanda Cabello said in a press release. “We believe that when the country recognizes it depends on immigrant labor to function, we will win permanent protection from deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants; the right to travel freely to visit our loved ones abroad, and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. After years of broken promises, raids, driving in fear of being pulled over, not being able to bury our loved ones, Trump is just the final straw.”

The May Day protest marched just days after Trump celebrated his first 100 days in office. During the first “Day Without Immigrants” protests in February, several workers were fired for participating in the protests.

NBC News