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

New Barriere Fire Chief appointed

Ashley Wohlgemuth first woman to serve as Fire Chief in Barriere

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

Third overall in Canada for McLure, B.C. cowboy

McLure junior bull rider, Jake Bradley, finished third overall at the recent… Continue reading

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Slippery suspect evades RCMP near Clearwater twice in one week

Anyone with information urged to contact RCMP or Crime Stoppers

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

Coffee chain plans to open 1,500 stores in Asia over the next decade

How to help B.C. wildfire victims

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

Whole city of Kimberley on an evacuation alert due to wildfires

Residents woke up Friday morning being told to get ready to leave any moment

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

B.C. judge who cried during a victim statement to rule on recusing herself

The judge will decide if she’ll disqualify herself from sentencing a man for sexual assault

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read