Grand Rapids immigrant rights activists gather in Washington DC to protest Biden
Undocumented communities and their allies from across the nation are gathering in the masses in Washington, D.C. to protest the Biden Administration. The movement comes just after President Biden passed through his first 100 days in office, in which activists say he didn't follow through on promises made to undocumented immigrants.
Activists with Movimiento Cosecha Grand Rapids have been preparing for this day since early March, one of its organizers, Gema Lowe, telling WGVU at the time, "We feel that the Democrats are saying that they're with us and for immigrant justice, but they say one thing and do another."
Movimiento Cosecha chapters, as well as other immigrant rights groups, gave Biden until his first 100 days in office to fufill what they called "empty promises" to the undocumented community, such as stopping deportations, before mobilizing in the streets of D.C. Lowe added that frustrations also grew when undocumented workers, many who are essential workers, were left out of COVID-19 relief packages.
"This country benefits from our labor. We’re putting our lives on the line, but they’re telling us we love the labor of the immigrants but we don’t want them as a person of value,” she said.
Movimiento Cosecha Grand Rapids has been keeping supporters back home updated with a series of Facebook live videos showing activists on the streets rallying for change. In one Facebook post, the group said they were there to, “demand papers, not crumbs.”
In a conference over equity and immigrant status on Friday, Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, shared his support of immigrant workers and stood by President Biden, saying the administration is trying to implement change.
“Many of our immigrant neighbors, whatever their status are essential workers. They’ve put our nation on their backs through this pandemic and still have it on their backs...We owe them respect, dignity and opportunity. We owe them justice," Walsh said, "...President Biden has made it very clear on his first day of office, he sent Congress a comprehensive immigration bill that create a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented folks in our country right now. This would be one of the pro immigrant pieces of legislation in the history of the United States of America.”