Demonstrators march for May Day, immigration reform in Milwaukee

NOW: Demonstrators march for May Day, immigration reform in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hundreds of demonstrators came out on Milwaukee's south side Sunday, May 1 for a May Day march organized by Voces de la Frontera.

The march, also a demonstration the Fair Immigration Reform Movement protesting against Trump-era immigration policy with a two-day 'days without immigrants' strike.

"We're tired of it, you know, we want to see change, this country was based off of immigrants, it is was it is because of immigrants, and it's unfair that we haven't had the ability to get the same rights," said demonstrator Alondra Garcia.

Garcia is a bilingual language teacher for MPS, and was one of the hundreds of demonstrators who marched from the 700 block of Mitchell to Senator Ron Johnson's office.

They held signs calling for the end of the 287g program, a COVID-19 Trump era immigration policy restricting immigrants and refugees.

People like Hiram Rabadan, a business owner who has lived in Wisconsin for 20 years, marched for an easier path to citizenship.

"I don't think it makes a difference, an immigrant from the 1700's from an immigrant from 2022, every single immigrant is looking for a better future, looking for a better life," said Rabadan.

Rabadan also spoke about getting better access to things like drivers licenses, even when they aren't a citizen, something he says neighboring states have had for years.

Bruce Colburn says he's been part of Wisconsin workers movements for 50 years.

He spoke to the significance of this all happening on May Day.

"This is a day where workers are actually recognized for what they do and what they need and for taking care of them," said Colburn.

He says September's 'Labor Day' was given as a consolation for the loss of international worker solidarity on May Day

In part, to stop demonstrations like the one Saturday, April 30.

"But many of us remember it because it's really the workers day," said Colburn.

Demonstrators say with Ukrainian refugees needing somewhere to go, and so-called 'essential workers' during the pandemic being treated poorly with low wages, the time is now for change that will make workers' lives better.

"To keep providing for this economy, to keep supporting this economy, and again, if I repeat it again, the time is now," said Rabadan.

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