Thousands expected to take to the streets in Los Angeles for workers, immigrant families, and communities of color. iAmerica-sponsored Resource Fair will follow march and rally.
The Los Angeles May Day Coalition, the oldest network of community organizations, labor, immigration reform advocates, faith communities, and allies, announced plans for this year’s May 1, International Worker’s Day, mobilizations in Los Angeles.
Under the banner “On May Day, No Justice Delayed,” the Friday, May 1 plans include a rally with remarks from David Huerta, President of SEIU USWW at the Dragon’s Gate landmark, a march through downtown Los Angeles major thoroughfares, and, a first for 2015, an Immigrant Families Resources Fair at Grand Park, right across from City Hall.
The theme speaks to this year’s demands: a) $15 an hour wages; b) no more delays in the implementation of the deferred action programs known as DAPA/DACA; and, 3) fair law enforcement practices that disproportionately impact Black and Latino communities.
“Workers come here to contribute to and boost our economy — not to become casualties of exploitation by employers that prey on vulnerable workers. It’s time for a Wage Theft enforcement bureau in Los Angeles,” said Alejandra Valles, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU United Service Workers West at a press conference announcing the May 1 plan.
The May Day mobilization starts at 3 pm at the corner of West Cesar E. Chavez Ave. and North Broadway in Los Angeles. A rally kicks off the festivities with the expected participation of well-known leaders in the labor, faith, immigrant rights, and civil liberties community, as well as elected officials. Several immigrant families and workers impacted by low wages, immigration delays, and unfair law enforcement practices will take to the microphone.
The march is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. moving east on Cesar Chavez, south on Main Street through Placita Olvera, looping east on W. Aliso St., stopping briefly in front of the Los Angeles ICE Detention Center on Alameda Blvd. Marchers proceed north on W. 1st Street, briefly stopping in front of the LAPD headquarters, finally stopping on N. Spring Street, in front of City Hall and Grand Park.
New to 2015, the Coalition is also coordinating a large Immigrant Families Resources Fair with the support of entities such as the City of Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Los Angeles Unified School District, IAMERICA and SEIU Immigrant Justice Campaign alongside dozens of other organizations.
More than 50 tables will offer information, referrals, and assistance to members of the Los Angeles community. The 5 pm to 7 pm Resources Fair will feature more than 30 immigration, housing, criminal defense, and wage theft attorneys. These professionals will be available for brief consultations at no charge to members of the public.
LOS ANGELES –SEIU-USWW (United Service Workers West) President David Huerta, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Council member Gil Cedillo, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) Executive Director Angelica Salas, and other community leaders hosted a press conference and rally outside City Hall to promote applications for the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A judge in Texas placed a preliminary injunction on the implementation of the program that was set to become open for application starting tomorrow, February 18, with applications for DAPA expected in May 2015. In response, David Huerta, President of SEIU-USWW, issued the following statement: “The President’s executive action will mean no more deportations for millions, and real access to opportunities that will improve the lives of immigrant workers and their families,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU-USWW, which represents janitors, security officers, airport workers, and other service workers throughout California. “When workers step out of the shadows, they are able to protect themselves from unfair retaliation by employers and raise standards for everyone.” “The lawsuit trying to stop DACA and DAPA from going into effect is just a political stunt that the court system will soon reject,” Huerta continued. “It’s important for our community to continue to get ready to apply for those programs so they can become eligible as soon as possible.” “President Obama acted because Congress refused to fix our broken immigration system and he did so fully within his legal authority.” “But make no mistake: Latino families, Asian American families, and the entire immigrant community and our allies — we are all watching closely. We will remember the names of those anti-immigrant politicians that continue to play cynical games with the lives of our communities come elections time. Stonewalling providing relief for millions of immigrant families for cold political gain is inexcusable.” Currently, 1.1 million Californians qualify for DAPA and DACA. Across the country, dozens of groups hosted similar events, including educational forums and press events, to demonstrate broad support for the implementation of the new executive actions, as well as call for the passage of a ‘clean’ Department of Homeland Security funding bill and legislative efforts that will not undermine families. A central information resource promoted at the event – iAmerica.org is a source families can trust for accurate information and tools that will guide them through the process and enable them to gain referrals – with absolutely no money required. SEIU and partners in the legal community developed the online resource to prevent theft and fraud from unscrupulous attorneys or “notarios” who may take advantage of those seeking relief under the orders. SEIU’s message to immigrant families is never to pay for applications (which are available with no charge) and never to pay attorneys or others who claim to provide expedited service for a fee.