For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
Friday, May 1st, 2020
Contact: Salvador G. Sarmiento, firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 1, across the United States caravans of “essential and excluded workers” called on their mayors and governors to reject and address the racist exclusion of millions of undocumented workers and families in the federal stimulus bill.
“The cows don’t milk themselves, do they? The hospitals don’t clean themselves, do they? Immigrants are essential workers, but excluded from federal relief, and as a result, our lives are on the line,” said Edith Carapia of the New Haven-based Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA), who participated in a caravan of 100+ cars on May Day.
Fifty-five Connecticut state legislators have asked their governor to create a disaster relief fund for immigrants. Carapia added, “Here in Connecticut, it’s time for our own Governor Lamont to answer the question, y nosotros que? Will you exclude immigrants or include us?”
As workers faced yet another week confronting the crisis of the pandemic, with either no work or jobs that expose them, thousands sick, and countless that have died, immigrant communities nationwide are asking local and state elected officials to help fill the enormous gap left by the largest federal stimulus bill in US history.
“Basta. If you take our labor, you must accept our right to emergency aid, to safe workplaces, and to legal status. And every level of government must be called to act. In New York, that means Governor Cuomo needs to answer the question, what about us in New York?” asked NDLON Co-Director Nadia Marin-Molina.
Migrant day laborer and workers centers participated in caravans in Pasadena, Las Vegas, New York, Washington, DC and surrounding cities, and Hartford, Connecticut, among many other cities nationwide.
“Never again will we be invisible, or excluded,” said a member of the grassroots immigrant rights group, El Comite, that participated with a broad coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups in a caravan to Olympia, in Washington State. He added, “Our demands are just and fair. We pay taxes and our labor is a source of the wealth generated in this country. We ask nothing less than to be seen and our rights recognized, Governor Inslee. Y nosotros que?”
The national day laborer network’s grassroots radio, Radio Jornalera, provided all day coverage of the caravans and discussions with workers rights voices from across the US, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.