Last week, thousands of immigrant workers and families took the streets of D.C. to kick off the next phase of our fight for permanent protection, dignity, and respect.
Marking International Worker's Day and the 100th day of Joe Biden's administration, we mobilized on Friday and Saturday to send a clear message to our community: we can and must fight for what we actually need — not just what the Democratic Party thinks is politically convenient.
It was so powerful to see so many Cosecha leaders (and immigrant leaders from our partner organizations, like Familias Unidas en Acción in New Orleans and Justicia Migrante in Vermont) come together. Many of us took off work and traveled for many hours with our families to be part of the "Papers, Not Crumbs" mobilization.
Two days of immigrant-led action
On Friday, the 100th day of Joe Biden's administration, over forty immigrants and allies blocked traffic around the White House for several hours. Undocumented immigrants were willing to risk arrest (and possible deportation) to highlight Biden's broken promises to our community.
In the end, we shut down traffic around the White House and over 30 allies were arrested, standing in solidarity with undocumented immigrants.
Throughout the action, reporters asked us why we needed to take such bold action. President Biden says he supports immigration reform for all 11 million. Shouldn't we give him a chance to actually get it done?
The reality is, we've been down that road before. For years, we lived with the hope that Obama and the Democrats would give us a pathway to citizenship, when the time was finally "right". It never happened, and millions were deported and remain separated from their families. This time, we refuse to let history repeat itself.
Instead of putting our faith in politicians who negotiate with our pain to advance their own political agendas—we are putting faith in ourselves, the immigrant workers who have always sustained this country.
On May 1, we were joined by hundreds more immigrants from all across the country, who traveled from dozens of cities on more than 30 buses, all so we could come together to demand papers, not crumbs.
To me, "papers, not crumbs" means finally ending the cycle of broken promises and compromises from politicians. It means rejecting the Democratic Party's strategy of dividing our community into "Dreamers" vs. parents, “good” and “bad”, “essential” and non-essential. We refuse to settle for meager crumbs: bills that divide and criminalize us. Instead, we will fight for what we really need: permanent protection for all undocumented immigrants.
Support from our whole community
Duane, I am so thankful for everyone who helped make May 1 possible by organizing on the ground, supporting us in D.C., watching and sharing our content on social media, and making donations. Cosecha has always believed that everything we need is in our community and we saw that again with this action.
If you haven't already donated to support Cosecha's May 1 campaign, please consider making a one-time or recurring donation now to support the remaining costs from these mobilizations — and to help sustain our undocumented organizers throughout the next phase of our fight!