Over 1,000 immigrants and allies march in Boston for respect and immigration reform
BOSTON, MA – Over 1,000 immigrants and their allies from all across the Commonwealth marched proudly and loudly down Boylston Street Oct. 5, demanding that Congress pass immigration reform now. The march was among 183 actions held throughout the U.S. today to raise a collective voice for immigrant dignity and respect. These events occurred in 154 cities in 40 states and the District of Columbia, each speaking collectively for immigration reform, and individually on issues that concern the distinct communities. In Boston, marchers asked for support on several State House measures, including the Trust Act, the Safe Driving Bill, the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and In-State Tuition, as well as support for raising the minimum wage.
Over 50 immigrant organizations participated in the Boston march, with buses bringing attendees from Williamstown, Springfield, Worcester, Lynn, Brockton and New Bedford. After leaving from Copley Square at 12:30, the march stopped at a Bank of America branch to deliver a letter asking the company to support immigration reform. The march ended at 1:30 in the Boston Common, where speakers from a stage rallied the crowd until 2:30, ending with the cries for immigration reform from “El Rancherito de Oro,” five-year-old ranchero singer, Jossue Girón.
“This young man should take John Boehner’s job!” said Leon David, a Haitian community organizer and one of the event’s two MCs.
The rally included a warm welcome in many different languages “We come from many different nations, but we all call America our home,” said the event’s other MC, Damaris Lopez, of Agencia ALPHA. Sabrina Barroso, a sophomore from Revere High School and volunteer with Mira U.S.A. then sang the U.S.national anthem. It was followed by three immigrants telling stories illustrating the need for both state and local reforms. Then a letter of support from Congressman Michael Capuano was read, and a call to action was made by Cristina Aguilera, Campaign Organizer for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition.
During the stage event, children and adults gathered at a nearby table to make postcards asking Congress to move forward with reform for the sake of their families. Their pleas were directed mainly toward one man — House Speaker John Boehner. After the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill in June, with a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, reform has only been blocked by John Boehner’s refusal to let a bill move forward in the House. Meanwhile, the suffering for families and our economy continues.
“100,000 immigrants have been deported since the Senate passed immigration reform in June,” said Leon David. “We are here because we cannot wait any longer. We need John Boehner to stop blocking the passage of reform, and to let a bill move forward for the well being of immigrant families and the prosperity of our nation.”
The New England Coalition for Keeping Families Together: AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), ADL’s Latino-Jewish Roundtable, Anti-Defamation League, The African Council, Agencia ALPHA, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Birfly Conexion Juvenil Inmigrante, Boston New Sanctuary Movement (BNSM), Boston College Students, Brazilian Immigrant Center, Brazilian Ministers Network (BMNET), Brazilian Women’s Group, Brockton Interfaith Community, Centro Presente, Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores de New Bedford, Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores de Lynn, Chinese Progressive Association, Chelsea Collaborative, Citizenship Brazilian Movement, Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, Comite de Refugiados El Salvador (CORES), Dominican Development Center, East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC), Emerson College Students / EmersonUNITE, Harvard College Act on a Dream, Harvard Kennedy School Students, Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC), Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative (IWCC), Jobs with Justice, Just Communities of Western Massachusetts, La Comunidad Inc, Latinas Know Your Rights, Latinos Unidos de Massachusetts (LUMA), Maria Luisa de Moreno International Foundation, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA Coalition), MassCOSH, Matahari Eye of the Day, MIRA USA, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, New Hampshire Alliance of Immigrants and Refugees, Oiste?, Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA), REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, SEIU 32BJ/615, SEIU 1199, SEIU Local 509, Student Immigrant Movement, UNITE HERE Local 26, Williams College Students, Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD).