Immigrants + Workers Unite: Advocates Rally and March on Trump Tower this May Day

May 1st, 2019

New York, NY– Today, on International Workers’ Day, a coalition of labor, immigrant rights, faith, and allied organizations came together to rally for immigrant rights and labor justice. New Yorkers from across the city convened at Columbus Circle and marched on Trump Tower to signify their unified resistance to the Trump administration’s rollback of labor protections and its attacks on immigrant communities.

“Every single day, hardworking immigrants across the state have to drive to work to support their families and participate in our economy. But without access to a driver’s license, each commute could be a potentially perilous road to detention and deportation. On May Day, we honor the immigrants who have fought for fair labor protections, and continue the struggle to ensure everyone’s safety by calling on New York to restore access to driver’s licenses this session,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

“Undocumented immigrants are workers. And we need licenses to be able to get to work, prevent our bosses from having total control of our lives, and to prevent deportations and family separations,” said Ana Barragan, a member of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

“In a time when the system is actively working against us as workers, immigrants, parents, students, and teachers, it is of the utmost importance that we unite in organized power against privatization, corporate interests, and cruel policy. The power of the people shall prevail over greed and ineffective leadership. We will hold elected officials accountable,” said Tanya Benavides, Educator with the Coalition to Reduce School Suspensions and member of Democratic Socialists of America. 

“NYSNA nurses are proud to join working people here and in every place where May Day is celebrated. Our solidarity is built on mutual respect for the work required to provide for societies’ health, safety and welfare. We salute our fellow workers on this workers’ holiday,” said Judith Cutchin, RN of Woodhull Medical Center, President, NYSNA H&H Executive Council & Mayorals, member of NYSNA Board of Directors.

“On May Day and everyday, it's critical for Labor and community groups to stand together in demanding justice for all working men and women. We’re here to celebrate this powerful day and recommit to improving the lives of working people in NYC regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or immigration status, because we know that together we rise," said Janella T. Hinds, Secretary-Treasurer of New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

"On International Workers’ Day, we stand united with all immigrant workers, many of whom are TPS recipients, who have been the backbone of this country's economy. As an organization that works with members who are TPS holders, we have seen first-hand the impacts of this administration's harmful stance on immigrants. Not only has it endangered the lives of thousands, but threatens the nation's economic stability," said Rama Issa, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York.

"On May Day we march for immigrant workers rights: their right to to safety, their right to accessible resources, and their right to provide for their families. We march for Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure holders, for drivers licenses for all, and for language access. Forward ever, backwards never!" said Amaha Kassa, Executive Director of African Communities Together.

“PSC members are proud to march with our fellow New Yorkers on May Day, the international day of worker solidarity and action. This is a day to celebrate our victories and recommit to our shared struggle for workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights. Solidarity and action are how we win, from the classroom, to the office, the shop floor, and the White House,” said Sharon Persinger, Treasurer of the Professional Staff Congress, the union of 30,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York.

“We workers are the fundamental base that moves the economy of this great city of New York. We stand together with labor, the community, and all workers and their families as we fight for fair wages and dignified jobs that recognize our humanity and value as workers. The attacks on our TPS community highlight the need to stand up and fight for not only workers but all immigrants and their families,” said Glenda Sefla, nail salon worker leader of the NY Nail Salon Workers Association.

“This May Day we are here to say: We stand with our immigrant brothers and sisters. We demand that the United States remains a country where all are free – to live, to learn, and here in New York, access to Driver’s Licenses so that they can drive!” said Anna Toback, Executive Director of Workmen’s Circle.