Why May 1 Matters

What is May 1? Four days before Cinco de Mayo. The day after April 30. AND, International Workers Day all over the globe.

Whatever you need to do to remember it, do it.

In the US, May 1 has also doubled for Immigrants/Workers Day. A kasama once said, “It’s like Christmas for workers.” Its the day folks come out to celebrate the fact that without low-wage im/migrant workers, our lives would come to a halt. In the past, huge mobilizations of communities that work on different social justice issues come out to mark the day as significant and, more importantly, a day to signal the need for real change around the issues of immigration and today’s working people.

This year though, its EVEN more important to come out to a May Day mobilization near you. Why? Because in the current political debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform by the bipartisan Gang of Eight, the voices of immigrants, immigrant communities and families are on the line. Literally, many of our mothers, fathers, sisters, sons, grandparents, cousins, friends, loved ones are on the chopping block. Many will be deported. Many will be detained. Families will be separated. Jobs will be lost. Livelihood for families left behind will be severed. This reform will change the landscape of the US. For those of us who live here, those of us who have families that depend on people living and working in the US, this will change our lives.

So, we (by ‘we’, I mean everybody), must help shape this debate. We have to engage in public demonstration, public discourse and organizing around this issue to protect and defend our communities.

May Day is your chance. Get out there. Hold a sign. Sign up for an organization that is engaged with the immigrant rights struggle. Be a part of the change.

Visual graphic of pathways to citizenship:


Colorlines discussion on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill:




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