South Florida May Day rallies focus on immigrant workers

MIAMI (WSVN) - Rallies in Homestead, Downtown Miami and Fort Lauderdale marked International Workers Day, Monday, as many focused on immigrant workers and their contributions to South Florida.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Downtown Miami rally at 5 p.m., at the Stephen P. Clark Center, to show support for immigration, immigrant workers and oppose President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

“Coming together to demand the attacks stop on immigrants,” said Helene O’Brien of SEIU chapter 32BJ.

One young girl taking part in the rally in Downtown Miami spoke about her fear of losing her undocumented parents. “Sometimes I have nightmares that ICE will come and take my family away,” she said.

“I will keep fighting for my family because we are here to stay,” she said, before urging other demonstrators to chant with her. “Repeat with me, folks: We are here to stay!”

In Homestead, marchers chanted about a united community on the national day of action for immigrant rights. Dozens gathered at Homestead City Hall with a focus on farm workers.

“We are here, and it’s time for this country to recognize our labor and to give us permanent protection, respect and dignity,” Jose Ruiz, a marcher, said.

The rally comes during a stressful time for undocumented immigrants fearing deportation under the Trump administration.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski appeared at a May Day event at Miami-Dade College.

“Too many people in the community today live in fear,” Wenski said. “This community needs relief; it needs immigration reform that is humane and just.”

At the event, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado offered immigrant families a symbolic key to the city to welcome them and honor their contributions in South Florida.

“The City of Miami will remain a city that welcomes immigrants,” Regalado said.

A May Day rally also took place in Fort Lauderdale, Monday night.

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