May 1 March in Fresno

May 1 March in Fresno
Organizers of the May 1 rally and march are demanding immigration reform.

By Community Alliance Staff

Brenda Ordaz speaking at a press conference on April 10.

The Coalición 1 de Mayo is organizing a march and rally on May 1 to celebrate International Workers’ Day and to demand an immigration reform.

The Coalición will be joined by several organizations including the Dolores Huerta Foundation and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).

“Seventeen years ago we marched to demand Congress to stop the bill HR 4433, proposed by [then] Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner [R–Wisc.], a radical anti-immigrant bill. We walked from San Antonio Claret Church, in south Fresno, to the City Hall,” said Leonel Flores during a press conference held on April 10. “It was the largest march in Fresno. When we arrived at City Hall we were about 10,000 people.”

A few days later, on May 1, 2006, a rally in front of City Hall attracted more than 15,000 people. Millions of people marched in several U.S. cities demanding to stop HR 4433 and pass immigration reform. While this last demand didn’t materialize, the bill was killed in Congress.

This year, organizers are asking for immigration reform.

Organizers of the May 1 rally and march during a recent press conference.

“It is time to get an immigration reform—[the] last one was in 1988—but also we are inviting those communities affected by not having legal residence, such as farmworkers, to join us on May 1,” said Brenda Ordaz, a representative of CHIRLA Madera.

“These workers have been out of work for several weeks because of the rain and flooding, [and] they don’t receive unemployment or other benefits despite the fact they pay for them.”

Ordaz also mentioned young people, brought by their parents at an early age to the United States, who don’t qualify for DACA so they don’t have a chance at access to good jobs.

“It is sad that when these people retire. They don’t even have access to Social Security benefits,” explained Ordaz.

This year, the May 1 rally will take place at Courthouse Park in Fresno (1100 Tulare Avenue) at 3 p.m. A march will follow.

For more information, contact Leonel Flores at 559-776-6642 or Olga Loza at 559-750-8076.

Photos by Eduardo Stanley

Lety Lopez told her sad story about her mom being deported while working on papers to obtain legal residency. She said that immigration reform is needed to keep families together.
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