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Organizers Prepare for May 1 Immigration Rallies « The Washington Independent

Several pro-immigrant grassroots organizations today announced plans for major demonstrations across the country on May 1 that will focus on immigrant workers’ rights and comprehensive immigration reform. Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Milwaukee are among the cities that expect large rallies.

May 1 has long been a day for immigration protests, starting in Los Angeles more than 10 years ago, according to Maria Elena Durazo of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Organizations participating in the rallies, including Service Employees International Union (the largest union for immigrant workers), Mexican-American Coalition for Immigration Reform and Center for Community Change, expect this year’s demonstrations to bring together thousands of protesters like in previous years, especially when the stakes are so high.

During a conference call this morning, organizers pointed out that Arizona’s Senate bill 1070, recent immigration raids in Phoenix and Tucson and the 287 (g) program are just some examples of what’s heating up the immigration debate.

From a Center for Community Change press release today:

The grassroots organizations are escalating because President Obama has yet to deliver on his promise to move immigration reform, the Senate has yet to deliver on its promise to produce a bill, and DHS has yet to deliver on its promise to focus on arresting bad actors instead of terrorizing ordinary immigrants. The time for making promises has run out. The time for concrete action has arrived. We demand action from the President, Congress and DHS by May 1:

  • Sens. Schumer and Graham must introduce a bill
  • Congress and the President must pass comprehensive immigration in 2010
  • The President must end rogue enforcement at ICE and enact policies that keep families united

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