Hundreds rally at Capitol against President Trump's immigration policies

Cheryl Sanders
May 5, 2017

On these same streets, just three months earlier, on Donald Trump's inauguration day, a handful of protesters turned to violence.

Immigrant and union groups plan to march in cities across the USA on Monday to mark May Day and protest against President Donald Trump's efforts to boost deportations.

The origins of May Day, a traditional marker of spring, as a day of protest in the United States are rooted in the bloody history of the labor movement.

With chants of "We are here to stay!" immigrants and labor leaders are marking International Workers' Day with marches and rallies in the Boston area.

"We wanted to identify and name a number of corporate players who stand to profit from Trump's agenda and immigration detention", Lopez said. We will not go to school. "We will not buy anything".

Ray Kelly contested the protesters' claims, saying the county's officers must cooperate with federal immigration agents who have federal warrants to execute. Many took sick days to protest.

The Washington march was primarily organized by Casa in Action, an immigrant and Latino advocacy group in Maryland and Virginia, and a regional affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Rallies elsewhere across the country were boisterous but mostly orderly.

She offered a pointed message to Trump: "Stop bullying immigrants". "We are inspired by their pride in our country's principles, their devotion to our freedom, and their solemn pledge to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic". We work hard. We build up our own business.

The week after Trump took office, he signed an executive order that temporarily suspended refugee admissions to the USA and suspended admission for people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Immigration arrests rose 33 percent in the first weeks of the Trump administration, including thousands of people who were unlawfully present but otherwise had no criminal record, according to a Washington Post analysis.

Selvin Martinez, an immigrant from Honduras, said he took the day off from his job waxing casino floors to demonstrate Monday.

Police, referring to the perpetrators as "anarchists", said they made more than two dozen arrests.

In a statement to KTVU-TV in the San Francisco Bay Area, Facebook said staff can use their paid time off to join a May Day demonstration.

While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers' rights around the world, the day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the US since massive demonstrations were held on the date in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said 30 to 40 groups had participated in such protests in recent years.

Thousands gathered at MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles for what organizers called a show of "resistance, unity and defiance", then set off on a boisterous but peaceful march across town to City Hall. Burciaga says no matter what, immigrants deserve respect from President Donald Trump's administration.

The government has arrested thousands of immigrants in the country illegally and threatened to withhold funding from jurisdictions that limit co-operation between local and national immigration authorities.

"I support Trump. I believe what he believe in: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", said Morales, wearing a Stars and Stripes baseball cap with the slogan, "Make America Strong Again".

In response, local leaders have vowed to fight back and civic participation has seen a boost, including February's "Day Without Immigrants".

"It's sad that sometimes some of my family have been deported, but it's good to know my parents, they have papers, but I have other family members that they don't, they have been deported and it's really sad to see like, cousins of mine that they don't have their parents", said 15-year-old Eileen Benitez.

In some cities, immigrant-run convenience stores and other businesses closed their doors in solidarity with the May Day rallies, and many protesters themselves gave up a day's wages to make their voices heard.

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