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Season of Strikes - A Day without Immigrants

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Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 1:00 am | Updated: 2:16 pm, Thu May 11, 2017.

Adults and Children demonstrating on the plaza at Homestead City Hall
Photo: SDNL

May 1st marked the beginning of a month long peaceful demonstration that will include a series of protests, commercial boycotts, and absenteeism from work and school. This avenue of discontent is to demonstrate the importance of foreign labor to “Our Nation of Opportunity.” 

Less than 150 people gathered to rally in front of the new Homestead City Hall. Peppered amongst the gathering were several newspaper reporters and a handful of multi-media cameramen who focused on the frustrating words of the leaders. In order to further understand their mission a bi-lingual “Latina” was singled out for an interview.

“I am one of 25 people working on the National level for this organization. We are working for citizenship and permanent protection for undocumented people in the United States.” When asked is this a Mexican rally she replied, “no, not just Mexicans it is a rally for people of Central America. We want to be free to travel back to our countries to visit families, attend funerals and other occasions. We want dignity. We want respect.”

It was pointed out that Latin American immigrants are not just farm workers but make up enough of the workforce to paralyze the U.S. economy if an economic strike took place. Searching the Internet for additional information yielded the following: The timing is 2 days after the 100-day mark of the current administration. Basically it is a protest against Trump and his policies. So far, there are 138 “May Day Events” planned in 35 states.

Understanding some of the frustrations of an immigrant the conversation returned to the young lady who was asked, “do you expect open boarders where anyone can come and go as they please?” She responded, “We want no deportation and an opportunity for citizenship. I am not the one who can push for this type of legislation. Imperialism has taken over our countries. We can no longer live and work there. In many cases it is unsafe.”

What about deportation for criminal acts was the next question: “We cannot even get a drivers license so if one of us is caught driving we have broken the law and can be deported.”

Her next statement threw me off guard, “this country lives off of white Supremacy.” Taken back I remembered my Italian grandfather words telling of his trip through Ellis Island as a legal immigrant, “we were told the streets in America were paved with gold but when we arrived the streets weren’t even paved. In fact we found out it was our job to pave them.” It seems that all immigrants in the past paid their dues until they were able to

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