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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

GR's Day Without Immigrants Caravan demands protections for immigrant essential workers

Participant of the Grand Rapids Day Without Immigrants Caravan
@josegjimenez @elmalcriadogr

[Sound of music and horns]  (5 seconds)

With taped signs on their cars and loud celebratory music more than fifty vehicles drove from Lincoln Park in the West Side of Grand Rapids  to downtown Grand Rapids’ Calder Plaza on Friday.

All those participating in the march were instructed via a Facebook live video to remain in their vehicles through-out the caravan and to abide by social distancing guidelines.

“We will not rally or congregate around any vehicles..there is no need..remember this is a caravan.”

That’s Cynthia Quintana one of the organizers of the caravan, giving instructions to all those participating. The purpose of the caravan according to Gema Lowe, who was also one of the organizers, is to demand safety and dignity for immigrant essential workers.

“No protections in place of work – personal protection equipment that essential workers need and they are in the front lines and who is working in the front lines…its immigrants.”

According to the Agriculture Department, more than one million or about half of all those working as field workers in the United States, are undocumented immigrants.  The jobs as field workers have been deemed by the federal government as essential to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic; but undocumented immigrants do not qualify to receive any relief from the government during this pandemic. 

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