Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Farmworkers and immigration advocates march in Apopka against Trump policies

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 1:37 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Hundreds of farmworkers, immigration advocates and community members marched in Apopka on May Day against the policies and rhetoric of President Donald Trump.

More than 300 people gathered on Monday at Kit Land Nelson Park and marched toward Apopka City Hall, chanting in Spanish, "Aquí estamos, y no nos vamos," which means, "We are here, and we're not leaving!" The march was part of a nationwide movement to support immigrant and workers' rights on May 1.
click to enlarge PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Before the rally in Apopka started, Tirso Moreno, of the Farmworker Association of Florida, told the crowd that immigrants come to the U.S. to work as farmers and other low-wage paying jobs because of American foreign policy in Mexico and other Latin American countries. But after being economically pushed from their homes to come to the U.S., Moreno says immigrants here are discriminated and targeted with deportation raids.

"We're here today to resist to the oppression and the attacks against our community," Moreno says.

On the campaign trail last year, Trump called Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "criminals." The president also promised his supporters an immigration crackdown and a border wall between the two countries that Mexico would pay for, though that doesn't seem like it will be happening. While Trump has repeatedly said he would only deport "bad hombres," the Washington Post reports about half of the 675 immigrants picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents days after Trump was inaugurated had "no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes."
click to enlarge PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Sister Ann Kendrick, of the Hope CommUnity Center in Apopka, lead the crowd of hundreds in a prayer and ringing of the bells for workers and immigrants around the world.

"May this sound touch [politicians] hearts," she says. "May this sound also go to every worker who today is working for a sub-standard wage in sub-standard conditions and whose income is not enough to simply survive in this country. May this sound go out to all of the immigrants, who are afraid, who are in their homes but would want to be here, but they're not so sure about their safety."
click to enlarge PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
Immigrants and workers need respect, justice and for Congress to do its job and approve a plan for immigration reform, says Soraya Márquez, with Mi Familia Vota. Márquez says advocates plan to protect immigrant communities and at the same time, work to replace politicians who are not on the side of immigrants.

"We're all immigrants – it doesn't matter if we're citizens or residents," she says. "We came from somewhere else to give our soul, our hearts to this country for it to be as successful as it is now."
click to enlarge PHOTO BY MONIVETTE CORDEIRO
  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro


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