May Day has long been a day for the immigrant community and its allies to stand up for immigrant families and equal justice. This year, given threats to immigrants at the national, state and local level, May 1st takes on even greater significance as advocates across the country prepare to rise up.
Led by organizations such as Center for Community Change (CCC), the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), United We Dream (UWD), UNITE HERE and thousands of others, May 1st events are being organized throughout America.
As Kica Matos of FIRM described:
On Monday, May 1st, in 200 events (and still growing) across the United States, hundreds of thousands of immigrant Americans and their supporters will loudly make their voices heard. The immigrant rights movement, standing arm-in-arm with our allies in the faith community, the environmental movement, labor unions, business community and women’s groups will send a strong message: We will not stand for one dollar being allocated to Donald Trump’s hateful immigration policies. We will not tolerate his continuing efforts to criminalize immigrants and separate families. Any support whatsoever for his deportation machinery is unacceptable to all Americans of good will.
The May 1st events will be just the latest reminders that people power matters and is making a difference, even in the face of existential threats posed by the Trump Administration and draconian state and local efforts, such as the Texas SB4 bill that passed the state House yesterday (see here for a recap of some important “people power” victories during the first 100 Days of Trump).
As challenging as the times are, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin points to “people power” while enumerating the ways in which Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies have come up short:
Trump at some level knows that fairness is on the side of law-abiding, sympathetic immigrants, whether they are Muslim doctors traveling here on visas or young people who benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or Syrian refugees fleeing a hell hole so grotesque that Trump felt the need to deploy military force there. Once specific victims of his policies are the focus, the public’s taste for his inhumane and counterproductive policies evaporates. We saw thousands of Americans take the initiative to go to airports when the first travel ban was announced — a moving and dramatic demonstration that America remains a decent, tolerant society.
Check out Reform Immigration FOR America’s “Rise Up Together” video by Frank Chi here.