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

SD91 trustee election results are in

Several new faces have been elected to the position of school board trustee

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

WWE star Roman Reigns announces he has leukemia

Grappler formerly played in CFL

China opens mega-bridge linking Hong Kong to mainland

The $20 billion bridge took almost a decade to build while incurring major delays and cost overruns

Dangerous Cat 4 Hurricane Willa closing in on Mexico coast

Officials said 7,000 to 8,000 people were being evacuated from low-lying areas, mostly in Sinaloa state

Excessive speed named as cause of Taiwan train derailment

18 people were killed and at least 170 more were injured

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

Most Read