FILE - In this Monday, May 1, 2017, file photo, members of Ce Atl, an Aztec-inspired spiritual and cultural preservation group, dance near the front of a march for worker and immigrant rights at a May Day event in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

US May Day immigration protests target Trump, fall elections

The Donald Trump era has been everything that immigrant rights’ groups feared, but they’re taking to the streets again

Immigrants say President Donald Trump’s administration has become almost everything they feared, but while they rally across the United States on May Day, their focus is less on huge turnout Tuesday than on the first Tuesday in November.

Marches and other demonstrations for labour and immigrant rights were planned from Florida to New York to California on International Workers’ Day and come amid similar actions worldwide.

“The Trump administration has made very clear that they’ve declared war on the immigrant community on all levels,” said Javier Valdez, co-executive director of the advocacy group Make the Road New York.

Immigrant rights groups have joined in May Day activities for more than a decade, initially to push back against harsh legislative proposals and later to clamour for reform and legal status for immigrants in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S. as children or overstayed their visas.

Now, they want to drive turnout in the midterm elections. Advocates hope voters target lawmakers who have pushed for measures that hurt immigrants and replace them with immigrant-friendly policymakers, said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles.

“Elections have consequences, and the consequences for our community have been dire, and if we do not change the balance of power, we question our ability to remain free in this country,” she said.

Protesters still are taking aim at policy changes under Trump, including a country-specific travel ban, the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, high-profile detention and deportation efforts, and proposals to cut back the overall numbers of people allowed to immigrate permanently.

Trump and his supporters say the enforcement and policy changes are needed for national security and economic benefits. Some of the new policies have gotten tangled up in court, and Trump hasn’t secured funding for his coveted border wall with Mexico.

After the rallies, immigrant rights groups will join LGBTQ, African-American and women’s organizations this summer to push for the election of new leaders, Salas said, adding that they hope to see more support from Americans who aren’t immigrants.

“It is really a fundamental question about what kind of a country we’re going to be,” she said. “For us, the question of immigration is a question about race, and it is also a question about real equality in this country.”

Related: Trump directs troops deployed to border

Related: Union says Trump bullying threatens hundreds of B.C. pulp mill jobs

Related: Trump’s early morning tweets: gun laws and North Korea

___

Deepti Hajela And Amy Taxin, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rugby team bullish after tournament win

Elk Valley rugby union players have put in an admira-bull effort to… Continue reading

Some light at the end of the tunnel for driver examiner shortage

As Sparwood student readies petition, ICBC has two new examiners in training

Teens youngest members in Fernie SAR history

Desire to help drives Ben Nixon and Josh Goodison to volunteer

Bear sightings prompt call for community action

Elk Valley and South Country residents have been urged to take responsibility… Continue reading

Decision opens door to short-term rentals

The City of Fernie has opened the door to the short-term rental… Continue reading

Black Press Media to launch Pipeline Full of Controversy series

Series covers Trans Mountain’s history, science, Indigenous reaction, politics and economics

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

B.C. teacher charged with sexual offences involving two teens

Henry Kang, 50, of Abbotsford charged with two counts each sex assault and sexual exploitation

Toronto Raptors star to hold basketball camp in B.C.

DeMar DeRozan is hosting a four-day camp for players aged 6-16 at the University of Victoria

Most Read