Newark Prepares for Big Day without Immigrants March on May 1

Preparing for “A Day Without Immigrants” (Photo via Cosecha New Jersey/Facebook)

On May 1, immigrants will seek to raise awareness across the whole country about their important role in the nation’s progress in the economic and labor sectors.

To this end, organizations are calling on all immigrants to participate in the “A Day Without Immigrants” protest on International Workers’ Day by not going to work or school or purchasing any products or services. In addition, they are encouraging people to take part in the marches and demonstrations that will take place in their communities and throughout New Jersey.

A number of organizations are promoting the call to join the state- and nationwide protest.

Activists Carlos Rojas and Catalina Adorno, from Movimiento Cosecha, said that a large demonstration will be held on May 1 at Lincoln Park in Newark, at 2 p.m., and [protesters] will march to  the Peter Rodino Federal Building [where the Newark field office of USCIS is located] on Broad Street.

According to the organization’s representatives, marches and demonstrations are scheduled to be held in more than 30 states across the U.S. with the support of community organizations, unions, religious institutions and merchants.

Catalina Adorno said that the purpose of the demonstration is to raise awareness among people in the United States about the important role of immigrants in the country’s development so that measures to permanently protect the dignity and rights of immigrants can be created, and also to reject the detentions and deportations that are splitting families.

“Cosecha is promoting a no-cooperation strategy. We want the country to become aware of its dependency on immigrant economic and labor power and to get them to support our community,” said Adorno.

For his part, Carlos Rojas explained that the groups are not advocating for immigration reform at this time because the conditions in Washington are not ideal to pass a law that truly benefits the community. “We do not have a specific law that we are supporting at this time.”

Rojas believes that, right now, it is crucial to obtain the support of sectors such as the construction, agriculture, hospitality, restaurant, child care, caregiving and food industries, which all depend on immigrant labor. “After seeing the impact of this demonstration, we hope to have them join the fight for the rights of immigrants,” said Rojas.

The members of Cosecha believe that the current climate is right for this type of demonstration due to the fear that the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies have created.

“With the Day Without Immigrants protest on Feb. 16, people proved that they are ready for this type of boycott. We are better organized for May 1, and we are sure that more people will join the demonstration.”

“People need to understand the consequences the country will face if Trump’s plan to deport millions of immigrants becomes a reality. Aside from being immoral, it will destroy the nation’s economy,” stressed Adorno.

At the state level, the demonstration will also serve to call for the approval of state laws and municipal ordinances to protect the immigrant community, including the creation of other sanctuary cities, driver’s licenses for all, municipal identification cards, reducing the number of detention centers in the state and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, among others.

After the Newark march, demonstrators will head to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where the state’s gubernatorial candidates will hold a discussion about social justice.

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