Winding through the city from Roosevelt Park via Grandville Ave. or also known as Cesar Chavez Way, more than a thousand immigrants, allies, and curbside neighborhood observers celebrated May Day as a peaceful march demanding dignity and respect for all immigrants, including access to drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, arrived through downtown for a City Hall rally at Calder Plaza.
This demonstration, organized by Movimiento Cosecha GR
, marked the launch of a statewide campaign to win licenses for all so that immigrants in Michigan can “drive without fear.”
As often reported in news outlets, Michigan’s economy is experiencing a talent shortage, needing to fill critical positions in our society that rely more and more over the years on our undocumented workforce. And yet, hundreds of thousands of immigrants are not offered the basic dignity of driving to work without fear of detention and deportation, making it extremely difficult for them to access these positions.
But we cannot look at this matter simply as an economic one, because the human costs are far more complicated and worth exploring as a matter of our shared humanity. As the offspring of an immigrant whose family got on a boat in the late 1800s to come to America, I can relate to the desire to create better opportunities for our family.
We at Rapid Growth recognize that immigration reform is a complicated matter, but under the last few administrations we haven't received any reforms that quite hit on the level that President Reagan enacted during his term. (Let that set in a bit.)
So in the coming months, it is our wish in the name of humanity that we as a city help lift up more opportunities for meaningful and constructive dialogue to address these individuals' concerns as we work towards a solution.
World migrations due to climate change, shifting economics, religious persecution, and wars all are contributing to the instability of nations. It is time we enact a new playbook that is rooted in listening to members of our world who are suffering and in need.
This is what it means to be human. This is where we should start as we move forward with these community converastions.
The future (still) needs all of us.
Tommy Allen, Publisher
Rapid Growth Media
Photos of the May 1 March courtesy of Tommy Allen, 2018