May Day Marches Highlight Essential Immigrant Labor and Rising Frustration With Biden

Activists mobilized in about a dozen major US cities to call for bigger change.

Workers participate in a May Day rally in Manhattan.Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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On International Worker’s Day, often referred to as May Day, immigrant rights organizations, labor rights groups, and their allies marched in about a dozen major cities throughout the United States to highlight how essential immigrant labor is to the country and to call for better worker protections.

In Washington, DC, workers, families, and community leaders gathered at Benjamin Banneker Park and marched through the nation’s capital, passing by Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters as they headed for the White House. Organizers said they wanted to “demand that the Biden administration dramatically transform its immigration policy into one that treats immigrants—particularly asylum seekers of color—as human beings who deserve respect and dignity,” according a press release from the Center for Popular Democracy

New Yorkers gathered at Foley Square Park in Manhattan, urging President Biden to keep his campaign promises and provide permanent protection and a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers.

A march in Los Angeles started in Chinatown, to show solidarity with Asians who have been victims of a rise in hate crimes, KPCC’s Josie Huang reported. 

President Biden started out his term by undoing some of the cruel immigration policies of Donald Trump. Republicans said Biden moved too fast, while some Democrats praised his changes but warned he needed to do much more than go back to a pre-Trump world. Sunday’s marches reflected the growing frustrations and strong opposition from groups that helped elect Biden, and from some even within his own administration.

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