Immigrant activists deliver messages of hope to lawmakers on May Day

Posted at 7:45 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 22:51:14-04

Activists and immigrant advocates in Phoenix marked May Day on Monday by meeting with state legislators and delivering postcards with messages of hope from children of immigrant families.

The action came after a weekend of marches and rallies that called for support of immigration rights.

Organizers for Promise Arizona met with lawmakers at the Capitol and will hold a phone bank event later in the day to urge state legislators and members of Congress to support immigrant families across the nation.

The events are intended to draw attention to President Trump's crackdown on immigration during his first 100 days in office.

David Ayala-Zamora, state field director for Promise Arizona, said Sunday's march to Phoenix City Hall was focused on children and fighting to keep families together.

"President Trump is terrorizing our communities, and it is not just putting fear in our communities but it is terrorizing because parents do not want to leave the house," Ayala-Zamora said.

Organizers say about 100 people, including immigrant support groups and others, took part in a rally at City Hall before marching to the Capitol.

Supporters also participated in a memorial event at Maricopa County's Tent City jail complex, and an overnight prayer vigil at the Capitol.

Democrat Rep. Tony Navarrete, who attended the march, said it celebrated youth of immigrant families while prompting awareness of the realities they are facing.

"The message is how do we continue to protect workers, how do we continue to protect immigrant families and how do we make sure that we are working towards a more just state and a more just country," Navarrete said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement to ABC15 regarding May Day which reads:

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believes local law enforcement’s cooperation with the agency is crucial in promoting public safety. When local law enforcement declines to collaborate with ICE and releases criminal aliens onto the street to potentially commit new offenses it needlessly puts communities at risk. Furthermore, those risks may disproportionally affect members of the immigrant community because people tend to commit crimes where they live, in neighborhoods they know.

ICE’s enforcement actions continue to be targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a threat to our communities.
There have been a number of high-profile cases across the country where criminal aliens who should have been referred to ICE and deported weren’t – with tragic results. Frankly, from our perspective, federal and local cooperation comes down to common sense for the common good."