Immigration a Focal Point at ‘May Day’ Rally

May 2, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

Hundreds of local residents from over 20 political and labor organizations gathered in favor of the working class at a rally held at Chicano Park in observance of International Workers’ Day, this Tuesday, May 1.

The event, hosted by advocacy group Union del Barrio, featured guest speakers who addressed topics that are of importance to workers, such as fair wages, holding strong negotiations, education, and solidarity, among others.

In the wake of the current political climate, speakers also took up immigration-related topics, as immigrants are often the most vulnerable and exploited source of labor under capitalism, and have now become a constant target for the presidential administration’s attacks.

Rosy Escamilla of Union del Barrio mentioned that the constant deportations, raids, and targeted aggressions against migrants are some of the most pressing issues affecting the local workforce.

“It is hard to separate the working class struggle from the immigrant struggle, especially in a Chicano and Latino community here in San Diego,” she said. “The criminalization of immigrants, when really immigrants come here to earn a living and to put food on the table and make sure their children go to school, is a pressing issue for all of us here.”

From the stage, Erwin Hernandez, a DACA beneficiary and member of pro-immigrant organization San Diego Border Dreamers, made a call for the humanity of these workers.

“The undocumented worker is not gifted the American dream, they fight for it every single day and it takes so much from us and we want so little, and that is human decency,” he stated.

Hernandez also stated that the actions of both parties seek to take the steam out of pro-immigration legislation and movements, but that supporters of immigrants must not give up.

“Both parties try to turn off the flame in this movement, but it is here, locally, that we must continue to fight because when the flame goes out in Washington it wont go out here,” Hernandez declared.

Following the speakers, a Mexica dance group kicked off a march which circled through the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights area.

International Workers Day, more commonly referred to as May Day in the United States, is observed around the world and is a date used to call attention to the working class as the most important component of the economy.

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