On Wednesday, March 1, over 100 people gathered in front of the federal building in downtown Grand Rapids to protest proposed federal legislation that would criminalize immigration. The House version of this legislation was contained in the already passed bill HR 4437 and the Senate Judiciary Committee is debating this issue today.
Most of those present at the demonstration were Latinos/as, which is understandable, since those most affected with the proposed legislation would be Latinos/as. This is exactly why there needs to be more support from the broader community, particularly from people who are not threatened with the proposed policy, said one of the organizers Rick Kessler. “We need churches, labor groups and other community organizations to defeat this legislation and work towards a just immigration policy.”
People carried signs that read “We Are All Immigrants,” “We do the Work,” and “No Person is Illegal.” Demonstrators marched in front of the federal building from 4:30 – 6:00pm handing out flyers to people walking past. No one from the commercial media covered this event. Event organizers say they plan on doing more education and lobbying over the next few weeks.
Read more about HR 4437: “HR 4437: Passing the Buck on National Security”