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

Smarty Pants teaches the value of having fun and relaxing

On Oct. 26 at Lake City Secondary is hosting the one-act play Smarty Pants, for one night only.

Local First Nations alliance works towards sustainable natural resource management

Four communities working together, along with provincial, federal governments, on strategic plan

Tsi Del Del community grieving after weekend tragedy

North District Major Crime Unit investigating, one man in custody

Official election results in for Cariboo Regional District

Official results confirm preliminary counts in the CRD

City, ski council, put support behind youth

The City’s ski and swim pass, and the Canadian Ski Council’s SnowPass offer affordable recreation

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

B.C. man gets seven years in prison for baseball-bat attack on Kamloops teen

Kamloops man who beat Jessie Simpson into a coma has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He was originally charged with attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

Most Read