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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A Group of Volunteer ‘Fairy Godmothers’ Threw a Lavish Quinceañera For This Homeless Teen Girl

Things That Matter

A Group of Volunteer ‘Fairy Godmothers’ Threw a Lavish Quinceañera For This Homeless Teen Girl

Photo via Getty Images

For most Latinas, having a quinceañera is a right-of-passage. Your quinceañera is the official milestone that proves you’re finally a woman. It’s a party that you look forward to your entire childhood. It’s that one time in your life that you, and only you, get to feel like a princess.

Unfortunately, not every girl has the luxury of having a quinceañera. Some girls’ families don’t have the finances to throw a huge party.

In Miami, a group of “fairy godmothers” organized a quinceañera for a homeless teen girl whose family recently emigrated from Mexico.

The girl, Adriana Palma, had moved with her family from Mexico to Miami in early 2020. But because of the pandemic, her father lost his job. Adriana, her parents, and her three younger brothers spent the next four months living in their SUV.

Relocating to another country is hard enough, but Adriana faced another challenge by being homeless, struggling to learn English, and chasing down random Wi-Fi signals in order to complete her homework assignments. It was a struggle, to say the least.

And to make matters worse, Adriana’s fifteenth birthday was coming up. Adrian’s parents told her that, since they were homeless, they wouldn’t be able to throw her a quinceañera. “We will be together as a family,” her mother, Itzel Palma, told her. “That will be my gift to you.”

Luckily, the Palma family had a group of guardian angels watching out for them. Being homeless wouldn’t prevent Adriana from having a quinceañera.

A charity called Miami Rescue Mission had already hooked up the Palmas with a small apartment for the family to get back on their feet. “Cover Girls”, a subgroup of the Miami Rescue Mission, dedicate their time to help women and children who are in tough circumstances.

When Lian Navarro, leader of the Cover Girls, found out about Adriana’s situation, she knew she had to help. Cuban-Amercian herself, Navarro knew how important quinceañeras are to young Latinas. She called up her group of volunteers and they got to work making Adriana’s dream come true.

The 60 “fairy godmothers” decided to throw Adriana the quinceañera of her dreams in a local Miami church. They settled on a theme: Paris.

The volunteers decorated the bare church in gold Eiffel towers, supplied pink macarons and French pastries, they topped off each table with a floral centerpiece. They gifted Adriana with every item on her wish list. Not to mention, Adriana was able to be dressed up in a frilly pink quinceañera dress. Her hair and makeup were professionally done. A professional photographer captured her special day.

“We want them to have these memories,” said Cover Girl volunteer, Tadia Silva, about children and teens who grow up homeless. “They have to believe they are worth all that because they are.”

After her beautiful quinceañera, Adriana appeared to know her true worth. At the end of the party, she gave her “fairy godmothers” personalized notes of thanks. “I felt like a princess,” she said.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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