LOS ANGELES (AP) — Immigrant rights groups and unions will hold rallies Monday in at least a dozen California cities in opposition to President Trump’s crackdown on immigration.
Marches are planned in cities spanning from Santa Rosa to San Diego. Tens of thousands of people are expected to rally in downtown Los Angeles after groups that in years past held separate May Day events joined together to oppose Trump.
Immigrant advocates say they hope large crowds will get Trump and congressional lawmakers to rethink efforts to expand deportations and pressure local governments to assist federal deportation agents.
“We are being challenged like never before, and we have to step up to the plate and deal with the situation and offer some hope to the community,” said Juan Jose Gutierrez, coordinator of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition in Los Angeles.
Around the world, union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers’ rights. In the U.S., the event became a rallying point for immigrants in 2006 when more than 1 million people marched against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.
Since then, the demonstrations have waned as groups took different approaches on immigration, including lobbying and voter registration.
But large crowds are expected this year as diverse groups united in their opposition to Trump are supporting the marches.
In San Francisco, immigrant rights groups have joined with Muslim organizations and women’s advocates, said Roberto Hernandez, organizer for the city’s May 1 Coalition. A similar coalition has emerged in Los Angeles, said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.
Since taking office, Trump has sought to deport more immigrants in the country illegally and build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The measures have faced pushback from many state and local leaders in heavily-Democratic California, which in recent years has adopted immigrant-friendly policies such as issuing driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status.