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

Mt. Hicks fire 15% contained, continues to burn north of Agassiz

The fire, suspected to be caused by a vehicle with a flat tire, not threatening any structures

UPDATE: Anonymous tip leads DFO night patrol to Fraser River poachers

Charges pending after poachers arrested at night while fishing, 48 sockeye, harbour seal seized

Wildfire update: Fires burning in Fraser Canyon, Highway 7 and Skagit Valley

Several fires in the region are under ‘modified response’ meaning no firefighters are attending

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Chilliwack is home to Sasquatch, the first Canadian-designed hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, the Sasquatch hop is the country’s first patented hops plant

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Police responding to ‘unfolding’ incident in Maple Ridge suburb

Helicopter, dog team, guns drawn and 16 police vehicles at Maple Ridge property

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

1954-built trolleybus hits Vancouver roads for 70th anniversary

TransLink to offer free rides on a retrofitted electric trolley bus to commemorate anniversary

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Langley teacher who screamed at, grabbed elementary students suspended

This is the second four-month suspension for the Langley teacher.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Fredericton widow swears at Trudeau during condolence call

Widow of man killed in Fredericton shooting says she swore at Trudeau during condolence call.

Most Read