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The Trump administration finalizes a coal-friendly emissions rule for power plants. Also on today's rundown: A new development in the debate over the 2020 Census citizenship question; and why "Juneteenth" is an encore celebration in Florida and other states.

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Immigrants, Workers Rallying on May Day

May Day rallies are being held in cities around the country. (Jonathan McIntosh/Wikimedia Commons)
May Day rallies are being held in cities around the country. (Jonathan McIntosh/Wikimedia Commons)
May 1, 2017

NEW YORK – Thousands of New Yorkers are headed to Foley Square in lower Manhattan Monday for what they're calling a day of resistance.

May 1 is International Workers' Day, and labor leaders, community activists and public officials are joining immigrants and workers to demand an end to policies being promoted by the Trump administration that they see as attacks on immigrants' and workers' rights.

Carolina Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Local 32BJ SEIU, says the message her union’s members are bringing to the rally is clear.

"Immigrant workers have always made the United States great,” she states. “They certainly make New York great, and those of us who are immigrants are not going anywhere."

President Donald Trump has invoked national security in his efforts to keep immigrants from several predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States, and to justify stepped-up immigration enforcement.

Local 32BJ has been organizing at airports where many service workers are immigrants. Gonzalez points out that at airports the workers both witness the treatment travelers are being subjected to, and are sometimes targeted for anti-immigrant abuse themselves.

"One of our members, Rabiya, who works at Kennedy Airport, was attacked as a Muslim immigrant even though she was not wearing a hijab or anything," Gonzalez relates.

That attack prompted legislation giving airport workers in New York extra protections from assault.

Gonzalez adds that with several more states considering so-called right-to-work laws and proposals to change rules for overtime pay, the rights of all workers are under attack.

"Chipping away at that idea that people have the right to organize,” she explains. “Chipping away at the idea that people in low-income jobs deserve $15-an-hour or more and benefits."

The rally, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., is one of hundreds of May Day rallies planned around the country.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY