May Day Rally for Immigration Reform in Washington DC

On May 1st, peo­ple from com­mu­ni­ties all over the coun­try com­mem­o­rat­ed Inter­na­tion­al Work­ers’ Day to call for fair and equi­table reform to the immi­gra­tion sys­tem. There were ral­lies in many major cities, includ­ing Wash­ing­ton DC. I went down to the ral­ly with Poon­am, our intern. Being at the march was an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence. Walk­ing down 14th Street, where mount­ed police shut down one direc­tion of traf­fic to accom­mo­date the crowd, sur­round­ed by com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers and advo­cates, was a sin­gu­lar expe­ri­ence. I did­n’t par­tic­i­pate in the immi­gra­tion reform ral­lies in 2006 and 2007 so this was my first time get­ting the May Day expe­ri­ence. The mood was over­whelm­ing­ly pos­i­tive with the speak­ers at Lafayette Park acknowl­edg­ing the dif­fi­cul­ties that com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers encounter as part of the bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem but ulti­mate­ly focus­ing on how com­mu­ni­ties-of-col­or can work togeth­er to push for reform. I used one of our nifty new Flips to cap­ture some of the sights and sounds of the ral­ly, below you can check out a quick video fea­tur­ing some inspir­ing words from Rev. Hagler of the Ply­mouth Con­gre­ga­tion­al Unit­ed Church of Christ:

May Day! Support Immigrant Rights at a Rally Near You!

Today, May 1st, also known as May Day, is a cel­e­bra­tion of the strug­gles of work­ers around the world. May Day is cel­e­brat­ed all around the world, and today, across the Unit­ed States, folks are encour­aged to take to the streets in ral­lies that acknowl­edge the strug­gles of immi­grant work­ers.  The ral­lies will also sound a cry for the impor­tance of immi­gra­tion reform – a series of leg­isla­tive and admin­is­tra­tive changes that can fix the bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem.  For work­ers of all immi­gra­tion sta­tus­es, the need for immi­gra­tion reform is crit­i­cal.  H‑1B work­ers have no job porta­bil­i­ty and often wait years in order to receive green cards.  Guest­work­ers who are here on tem­po­rary, H‑2B visas have very lit­tle work­er pro­tec­tions and find them­selves in vul­ner­a­ble sit­u­a­tions that can be exploit­ed by unscrupu­lous employ­ers.  Watch this video clip from the Amer­i­can News Project to learn more about the Indi­an guest­work­ers in the Gulf Coast who spent two years high­light­ing the exploita­tion they endured.

Then, head out to one of the immi­gra­tion ral­lies this after­noon in your city –vis­it www.anewdayforimmigration.org for infor­ma­tion on May Day march­es and ral­lies.