Migration to USA falling since Trump took office

While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers' rights around the world, the day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the USA since massive demonstrations were held on that date in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill. Authorities said the group of Portland anarchists were wearing black bandanas and ski masks and began breaking windows at businesses, setting fires on downtown streets and damaging a police cruiser.

May Day is an important internationally observed day accompanied by a rich history of laborers protesting for better working conditions. They first visited a nail salon where workers are now owed unpaid wages, then continued on to a bank that funds oil pipelines, which community organizers say are exploiting undocumented immigrants and putting them in risky working conditions.

Monday, however, was also a major day of protest for those who oppose the administration. A rally for immigrants took place at Lamont Park in Mt.

Salvador Zelaya owns a commercial construction company with offices in Washington and Alexandria, Virginia, and says he's paying his workers to take a day off and attend the march to the White House.

Chanting "Stand up, fight back", hundreds of people marched through downtown Seattle to support immigrants and workers. Last Friday April 28, a bipartisan group of members in the House of Representatives sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security secretary John Kelly to express their concern that the immigration executive orders undermine the goal of anti-trafficking laws and the Violence Against Women Act because immigrant victims are now less likely to report violence and crime.

"Our presence in this country is being questioned by Donald Trump", he said. "We employ people. We pay taxes and we make America great".

Teachers working without contracts opened the day by picketing outside schools in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Despite the California clash, the initial rounds of nationwide protests were largely peaceful as immigrants, union members and their allies staged a series of strikes, boycotts and marches to highlight the contributions of immigrants in the United States.

Organizers for Promise Arizona met with legislators at Arizona's capitol Monday to deliver postcards with messages of hope regarding International Workers' Day.

Although May Day is not marked in the United States as a national or official holiday, the annual event in other countries commemorates an episode that occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, which led to violence.

The Mercury News in San Jose reports (http://bayareane.ws/2pAcz9E ) about 10,000 demonstrators are expected for the city's 1 p.m. rally and march. "We also know that the Trump administration's approach is based on the ugly notion that America should expel 11 million hardworking undocumented immigrants, and that is wrong". But the widespread protests in the United States were aimed directly at the new president. He says Trump is "terrorizing our communities" through his immigration policies. We have overcome enormous obstacles because we refuse to be divided or succumb to fear.

In cities from Washington, D.C.to Los Angeles to Seattle, the more traditional May Day labor marches are expected to swell with women's groups, police reformers - basically anyone who wants to protest the president.

In Shemanski Park in Portland, Oregon, before the violence broke out hundreds of people, including some families with children, gathered and watched dancers in bright feathered headdresses perform to the beat of drums.

Zakiya Scott, one of the organizers, told Xinhua that the May Day demonstration is the culmination of a series of protests starting from early April by a newly formed umbrella organization called the Majority coordinating more than 50 protest groups across some 100 USA cities. The event in 2006 became a US rallying point for immigrants, with more than 1 million people marching against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

However, last week the Washington Post reported that about half of the 675 immigrants detained in the weeks following Trump's inauguration were people with no criminal conviction or with only traffic offenses.

  • Larry Hoffman