Hundreds March to Demand Citizenship for Essential Immigrant Workers on May Day

Megan Fountain, Unidad Latina en Acción

Banging pots and pans, three hundred marched to demand a path to citizenship for essential immigrant workers in the streets of downtown New Haven.  There were speeches and live music by salsa and mariachi groups on the New Haven Green till 7 p.m.

“People should have a living wage no matter where they come from, their race, their ethnicity, whether they have documents or not,” Mayor Justin Elicker told the crowd in Spanish. “People should have health insurance and paid sick days so that they can care for their families, so that they can support the community. Until we have that, we don’t have a full community that supports everyone.

“We may be essential in your words, but we are dispensable in your actions,” said Max Cisneros of the New Haven Pride Center. “We maintained your society in the worst days of the pandemic, and we deserve equal rights and citizenship. It’s only right. It’s only fair.”

“We want Biden to move forward with immigration reform,” said Kica Matos, former deputy mayor of New Haven and currently Vice President of Initiatives at Vera Institute for Justice. “We are tired of platitudes. I want the President of the United States to affirmatively move forward to fight for legalization, protection and justice for immigrants.”

Undocumented immigrants are disproportionately represented in the “essential” industries that have suffered the highest rates of COVID mortality.[1] These deaths are not accidental, but they have been produced by anti-worker and anti-immigrant policies that have been deliberately advanced at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that immigrant labor is super-exploitable and to exclude immigrants from health protections and safety nets including the CARES Act stimulus payments.

As President Biden makes the case for a national economic recovery that will invest in life-saving public infrastructure, protesters on May 1 responded by demanding a recovery that includes citizenship and full equal rights for the immigrant workers who have sacrificed for this country.

[1] National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “Honoring The Fallen: An NDLON Report on the Impacts of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic on Immigrant Workers and People of Color in the United States.” April 28, 2021. https://ndlon.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Honrando-a-los-Caidos.-Honoring-the-Fallen..pdf

Contact: megan@ulanewhaven.org, (203) 479-2959.

Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege!

by Coalition For People

The Coalition for People is organizing for universal, comprehensive, single-payer health care. The following is from a flyer they created for this campaign.

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What Is Single Payer Healthcare?

The United States is the only country in the developed world that does not guarantee access to basic health care for residents. Countries that guarantee health care as a human right do so through a “single-payer” system, which replaces the thousands of for-profit health insurance companies with a public, universal plan.

Does that sound impossible to win in the United States? It already exists – for seniors! Medicare is a public, universal plan that provides basic health coverage to those age 65 and older. Medicare costs less than private health insurance, provides better financial security, and is preferred by patients.

Under the single-payer legislation in Congress (H.R. 676):

  • Everyone would receive comprehensive healthcare coverage under single-payer;
  • Care would be based on need, not on ability to pay;
  • Employers would no longer be responsible for health care costs and coverage decisions;
  • Single-payer would reduce costs by 24%, saving $829 billion in the first year by cutting administrative waste and allowing negotiation of prescription drugs;
  • Single-payer would create savings for 95% of the population. Only the top 5% might pay slightly more.

For more information, call Robin Latta (203) 481-0894.

Call your Legislators NOW! Single-payer NOW!