Why Americans Suddenly Noticed May Day

Thousands turned out to support immigrants’ rights

May Day, which began as a way to honor and defend labor unions and workers’ rights since the late 19th Century, hasn’t meant much to Americans in more modern times. But the recent threat to America’s immigrant population and tension over job opportunities for skilled workers pushed a record turnout in cities around the world this year.

Los Angeles, in particular, organized a protest march with the hashtag #ResistLA that resulted in more than 10,000 people taking to downtown—where the Women’s March and March for Science were also held.

The essential message for many who attended was the demand to decriminalize immigrants and undocumented.

Trump ran on a campaign erroneously connecting immigrants with increased crime. And while his bogus stats have been debunked a number of times, the administration recently announced the launch of VOICE, which stands for Victim of Immigration Crime Engagment.

The growing anxiety over the president’s deporation policy has already triggered negative consquences in communities, including victims of domestic violence who are less likely to report spousal abuse out of fear of being thrown out of the country.