Things That Matter

Here Are 11 Reasons People Protested For Immigrant Rights On May Day In Los Angeles

May Day has long been about fighting for workers rights around the world especially in the US where cities celebrate and advocate for workers rights. Los Angeles is one of the most notable May Day rallies in the country where people take to the streets to stand up for immigrant and political causes. The city’s population has a long history of advocating for immigrant rights. Here are some of the people that took to the streets in LA and why this day means so much to them.

Maggie Hernandez, 23 and Giselle  Orozco, 19

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“I’m an immigration paralegal so a lot of my clients are undocumented so I’m here to support them,” Hernandez told mitú. “I’m also a DACA recipient and also here for my parents who couldn’t be here today because they’re working.

Carolyn Gomez, 27

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I’m out here today to stand in solidarity not only for human rights but for a better society,” Gomez told mitú. “I want to see a society where people are treated with respect and dignity regardless of class, age and social status.”

Gerardo Campos, 22

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“Supporting immigrant rights is a must in today’s political climate and is important for all of us acknowledge the people behind the scenes,” Campos told mitú. “Today is a holiday for all workers and I feel like I’m doing my part today fighting for that.”

Alejandra Pacheco, 25

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I came here today to speak about immigrant rights and to advocate for reform in this country where so many aren’t given a fair chance to have their voice heard,” Pacheco told mitú. “It’s important to have May Day and it’s even more important that we are out here today celebrating it with all these people.”

Gloria Loriva, 63

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I’m a socialist and I believe that we have to keep marching in the streets for our rights,” Loriva told mitú. “I’ve been an activist for many years, my mother is an immigrant but even if she wasn’t I’d still be out here in the streets marching on May Day.”

Rosie Alonso, 28

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I came all the way from San Bernardino and I used to live in East Los Angeles so I’m here to speak on behalf of my community,” Alonso told mitú. “I want to protect it from gentrification and the displacement and deportation of so many people that live there including my parents who are both immigrants.”

Chantelle Garcia, 22

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I always come every May Day all the way back to when I was in the fifth grade and it’s just important to be here and stand up for immigrant rights, ICE, and Donald Trump,” Garcia told mitú.

Irom Thockchom, 20

Javier Rojas/mitú

“I’m a member of the Answer Coalition and we recognize that we are an anti-imperialism organization,” Thockchom told mitú. “Part of our mission is to support labor at home which is what this day is all about and I want to see equal rights for all working people.”

Jenny Chalappa, 22

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I just wanted to be out here and be part of the change,” Chalappa told mitú. “I’m tired of sitting back and watch everything happen and today is honestly my first May Day. My whole family has always been working class and I just heard about May Day so why not come out support them and all workers.”

Gabriella Vaquerano, 23

Javier Rojas/mitú

“I want change not only for me but for everyone else including families that are too afraid to stand up,” Vaquerano told mitú. “Now that street vending is legal our parents and communities don’t have to be scared to make a living, this is how they live and now we are starting to see some real changes that are going to benefit hard working immigrants.”

Oliver Villanos , 15

Javier Rojas/ mitú

“I’m here to protest for the rights of immigrants and for my family that couldn’t be here today,” Villanos told mitú. “I feel sad that some people are racist to others just because they feel they are not equal to them and I want that change in our country.”


READ: Here Are 25 Of The Best Signs From Nationwide #MarchForOurLives Protests

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Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Things That Matter

Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is Cuban-born and was one of the original architects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary Mayorkas is inheriting a Trump-era DHS and is immediately getting to work to rectify issues that the Biden administration has highlighted. Two of the most pressing issues are heading up a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated by the previous administration and reviewing the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“Remain in Mexico” is a policy that the Trump administration created and enforced that sent migrants to Mexico to await their asylum cases. The policy has been criticized both by U.S. and international politicians as a humanitarian issue.

It isn’t Mayorkas’ first time working for DHS.

Sec. Mayorkas was the deputy secretary of DHS from December 2013 – October 2016 under President Barack Obama. During that time, Mayorkas was crucial in responding to the 2013 – 14 Ebola virus epidemic and 2015 – 16 Zika virus epidemic. Mayorkas is ready to come back to the department and to bring back what he sees are the department’s mission.

“DHS bears an extraordinary weight on behalf of the American people, the weight of grave challenges seen and unseen,” Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement. “It is the greatest privilege of my life to return to the Department to lead the men and women who dedicate their talent and energy to the safety and security of our nation. I will work every day to ensure that they have the tools they need to execute their missions with honor and integrity. The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. The United States is a welcoming and empathetic nation, one that finds strength in its diversity. I pledge to defend and secure our country without sacrificing these American values.”

Mayorkas is no stranger to working on America’s immigration system.

Mayorkas is one of the original architects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is at stake because of the previous administration. The Biden administration has made a promise to preserve DACA and to create a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.

President Biden has introduced legislation to reform the current immigration system. The legislation has a timeframe for all undocumented people in the U.S. to become citizens if they follow certains steps and meet certain criteria.

While Mayorkas got bipartisan support in the Senate confirmation, some Republicans did not like his work in immigration. Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban, voted to opposed Mayorkas.

“Not only has Mayorkas pledged to undo the sensible protections put in place by the Trump Administration that ended the dangerous policy of catch and release, but his nomination is further evidence that the Biden Administration intends to pursue a radical immigration agenda,” Sen. Rubio said in a statement.

READ: President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

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President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

Things That Matter

President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

President Joe Biden promised that he would introduce legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people. The president has followed through with the promise and all eyes are on the government as millions wait to see what happens next.

President Joe Biden has been busy the first couple of weeks of his presidency.

President Biden is proposing a pathway to citizenship that millions of people in the U.S. have been asking for. There are around 11 million people who are undocumented in the U.S. The pathway to citizenship will take time, according to the legislation, but some people will have time shaved off of their pathway, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and farm workers who have worked throughout the pandemic.

The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 is designed to change the immigration system that has created a backlog of immigration cases. There are multiple steps in the proposed legislation starting with creating a pathway to citizenship. Those who would benefit from the bill are people who are physically in the U.S. by January 2, 2021.

First, the bill allows for people to apply for temporary legal status. After five years, and if the person passes a criminal and national security background check, they can apply for a green card. Three years after that, people who pass further background checks and demonstrate a knowledge of English and civics can apply for citizenship.

A line in the bill aims to help people deported during the previous administration.

“The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may waive the presence requirement for those deported on or after January 20, 2017, who were physically present for at least three years prior to removal for family unity and other humanitarian purposes,” reads the proposed legislation.

The bill also wants to change the word “alien” to “noncitizen” in immigration laws to embrace the country’s stance as a country of immigrants.

The legislation has been introduced and now immigration activists are waiting to see it happen.

The legislation tackles several issues that have plagued the immigration system in the U.S. The bill proposes increasing visa limits for certain countries, keeping families together, removing discrimination against LGBTQ+ families, and so many other initiatives to start reforming the immigration system.

President Biden has been offering executive orders that are in the same vein as the bill. Many have aimed as fixing issues that were created by the previous administration and the president is not hiding from it.

“There’s a lot of talk, with good reason, about the number of executive orders I’ve signed. I’m not making new law. I’m eliminating bad policy,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office while signing executive orders. “What I’m doing is taking on the issues that, 99 percent of them, that the last president of the United States issued executive orders I thought were counterproductive to our national security, counterproductive to who we are as a country. Particularly in the area of immigration.”

The undocumented population peaked in 2007 at 12.2 million and has declined since then. There are at least 4.4 million people in the U.S. with at least one undocumented parent, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

READ: President Joe Biden Signs Executive Order To Preserve DACA

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