FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bianey Bermudez, (720) 934-5288 firstname.lastname@example.org for interviews with Coloradans meeting with legislators and marching in DC
Jennifer Piper, 720-301-1858, email@example.com for interviews with hunger strikers and bicyclists and b roll videos and photos from United for Immigration Reform, interviews with leaders of local May Day event
Immigrant Activists from Colorado Rally in Washington D.C. For May Day, others back home join a nationwide fast and vigil
Members of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition join cyclists who will have biked over 1800 miles from Denver to Washington D.C. to demand citizenship for all
April 29. 2022 Denver, CO - Washington, D.C. - On May 1, 2022 immigrant rights activists from across the nation will march in D.C. for an historic May Day Rally. Among them, 50 Coloradans will welcome Omar Gomez De La Cruz, who biked over 1800 miles from Denver, CO, to his final destination in Washington D.C. Members from the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition will join the nationwide rally to elevate the need for President Biden to use his executive action to deliver relief for immigrants. Thousands will gather to urge President Biden to deliver a pathway to citizenship, follow through with ending Title 42, and reduce funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol.
May Day or International Workers Day, serves as a reminder that immigrant labor is only one of the many ways immigrant communities contribute to this nation. CIRC’s members and allies will deliver a unified message to demand a pathway to citizenship during scheduled meetings with members of Congress in D.C. Participants will gather at Banneker Park and march through the nation’s capital, passing by the national ICE headquarters and ending with a rally at the White House.
“For many years politicians have made promises to the immigrant community but once elected, they forget about us. I am tired of broken promises, at a personal level, these broken promises over decades long feel like a psychological torture. We come to this country to provide for our families and loved ones. I am joining this 40-day bike journey over 1,800 miles across the country because I am fed up and tired of broken promises. I will have biked all the way to D.C. and I will not leave without a clear commitment for immigration reform,” said Omar Gomez De La Cruz, United for Immigration Reform.
Gómez De La Cruz, with the grassroots group United for Immigration Reform, has been biking since March 21, 2022 and will arrive in D.C. on April 30th. United for Immigration Reform will be hosting a welcoming event on April 30th at the Lincoln Memorial at 5 p.m. ET for Omar and other cyclists who joined the 40 day journey. On May 2, 2022 Omar Gomez de la Cruz, Homero Ocon, Leticia Ramírez, Silvia Kolin, Joshua Stallings and others from the group will begin a hunger strike for citizenship.
Here in Colorado groups will mark May Day on Monday May 2 at 6pm MT in front of the GEO for profit detention center. This May 2nd, community leaders with the organizations Together Colorado, Colorado Jobs with Justice, and the American Friends Service Community will hold a rally outside of the Immigration Center in Aurora. These leaders will share testimony and pressure the offices of Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet to keep families together, take a vote on a pathway to citizenship, and close down immigration detention centers. Community leaders from Together Colorado, Colorado Jobs with Justice, the American Friends Service Committee. Speakers include community members who have been impacted by family separation and essential workers.
The bike ride and march come as immigration reform remains stalled and the Biden Administration and Congress continue to do almost nothing for immigration justice.
“Republicans have shut down any viable path to citizenship, running fear campaigns instead of working for the people they represent. President Biden must now do what he has the power to do via executive action: End deportations, end 287(g) police and ICE agreements, close detention centers, designate and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and do anything possible to bring citizenship and protections to millions of undocumented Americans, “said Erik Garcia, Director of Membership and Engagement at the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Despite exhaustion from years of unanswered promises and an ongoing pandemic, activists and ordinary Coloradans feel they have no choice but to march.
“My participation in this march in Washington D.C. is important to push the government for its support for immigration reform that all immigrants deserve for their contributions to this country (in my case and that of my family, we have been here for 20 years). This is urgent and important to me out of frustration at the lack of job opportunities due to not having legal status, “ said Juanys Soto, a member of Grupo Esperanza from Colorado Springs, who will also travel to Washington D.C. to fight for her community this May Day.
Nayda, CIRC’s South Regional Organizer, agrees: “It is important to keep organizing towards liberation, it is possible to live in a world where systems of oppression are dismantled, a world where we hold each other with care. We are tired. My family and I are undocumented (and many in my local community) have been in Colorado now for decades. We live as Americans yet we are denied the right to be Americans, and we have faced displacement, exploitation in the workplace, lack of access to healthcare, and other systemic barriers simply because we do not have documentation and no path to get it. May 1st is International Workers Day and without undocumented immigrants, this country would fall apart. We are exhausted, but we still march because we know a world where we prioritize dignity over detention and criminalization is still possible.”
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) promotes a world free of violence, inequality, and oppression. Guided by the Quaker belief in the divine light within each person, we nurture the seeds of change and the respect for human life to fundamentally transform our societies and institutions. More at: www.afsc.org/denver
United for Immigration Reform Colorado's bicycle journey was inspired by “A Day Without Immigrants” and the belief that all of us – immigrants and allies – have a responsibility to take action to create change even if it requires sacrifice. The goal of this movement is to motivate thousands of people to join us - by bicycle, in demonstrations, and in prayer and meditation - during a 40-day bicycle ride from Denver to D.C. to pressure the federal government to pass immigration reform before the November 2022 elections. https://www.united4immigrationreform.org/
The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide coalition of immigrant, faith-based, labor, youth, community, business, and allied organizations founded in 2002 to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees by making Colorado a more welcoming state for immigrants. www.coloradoimmigrant.org