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May Day in Boston Sends Message: Immigrants "Here To Stay"

Labor unions and supporters of immigrants' rights will be rallying in the Bay State Monday for May Day calling for an end to President Donald Trump's deportation approach to immigrants. (32BJ SEIU)
Labor unions and supporters of immigrants' rights will be rallying in the Bay State Monday for May Day calling for an end to President Donald Trump's deportation approach to immigrants. (32BJ SEIU)
May 1, 2017

BOSTON – It's forecast to be the largest mobilization of immigrants since the presidential election, as hundreds of thousands are expected to stage May Day rallies Monday in Boston and across the nation.

Roxanne Rivera, vice president of Service Employees Union 32BJ, says a broad coalition is staging a rally to send the message to President Donald Trump to end his attacks on immigrant, refugee and Muslim communities.

"We're going to be calling for an end to the Trump administration strategy on mass deportation,” she states. “How he's continuing to vilify immigrants is only tearing families apart."

Trump says he remains committed to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that he says is needed to stop drugs and illegal border crossings.

Rivera says the coalition organizing the event is calling on Congress to pass a budget that protects the rights of workers and does not allocate a single dollar for a border wall or unjust border enforcement.

While May Day traditionally shines a spotlight on workers, Rivera says immigrants have played a key role in the U.S. labor movement.

"The respect for immigrants and respect for immigrant workers is at the core of who we are, and is really at the core of what May Day was all about,” she states. “It was an immigrant worker that came forth and established the eight-hour day."

Rivera says her union also will be calling for passage of the Safe Communities Act in Massachusetts to make the Commonwealth a sanctuary state.

"We don't want local and state police to act as ICE agents, because then there will be so much fear that communities won't report things," she stresses.

The sponsor of the act, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), will be among the speakers at the May Day Here to Stay Rally, which kicks off on the steps of the State House at 11:30 a.m.

More marches and actions are planned across the Bay State and New England.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA