Feb 16th’s ADWI was a good first step to rebuild a mass immigrant rights movement in this country, and moving forward, March 8th’s Women’s Strike is being seen as the next movement build action, with May 1st’s International Worker’s Day being the next big Day Without Immigrants. The immigrant rights movement and its allies should use the momentum for May day being built by the general anti-Trump national sentiment.
There are already organizations that have issued a call for a national Day without Immigrants on May 1, so far these include Voces in Milwaukee, SEIU-United Service Workers West and the Women’s March in California, and the national Cosecha network1 and we can build on these to get more endorsements and commitments. National public opinion polls are showing that majority of people in the U.S. support the rights of the undocumented to remain2.
It can learn from the strengths and limitations of Feb 16th’s demonstrations and organize things more centrally and continue the grassroots elements. It’s important to continue to keep organizational and programmatic independence from the Democratic Party (DP) politicians and organizations. We should contest base and rank and file DP members and we don’t need to work inside the DP to do that.
It’s crucial that the movement put pressure on unions and hold the labor leadership accountable since there are many undocumented workers in unions and in the wider labor force. While the AFL-CIO and labor unions keep silent during Trump’s offensive to immigrants and workers, rank and file workers in their unions should put forward resolutions and build caucuses to push for their unions to come out in full force to support May day’s activities.
At the community, school, and neighborhood level, the undocumented community can build on the the resistance networks being built across many major cities3 by workers centers and community groups against the deportations and attacks to immigrants. There are also organizations and communities pushing for sanctuary (cities that follow certain procedures that shelters illegal immigrants),4 campuses, cities and states that should be supported and expanded.