Several John Carroll University students participated in a march in the streets of Cleveland to call for immigration reform.
The march, commonly known as the May Day March, was held on Saturday, May 1.
The march began at Market Square at West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue, and continued for two miles. The march ended when the marchers reached the Catholic Worker Storefront, where they gathered afterward. Here, the protesters assembled for a final rally.
The marchers sought reform for the national immigration policies. Some of the items they protested included anti-immigration laws, militarizing the U.S.-Mexican border, and immigrant detention and deportation.
They also called for more labor rights and better wages for immigrant workers.
The students decided to participate in the May Day March largely in response to the recent immigration legislation passed in Arizona, which allows police to stop anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant.
“The bill passed in Arizona has really frightened a lot of people. It is a terrifying step towards the further dehumanization of the immigrant community and creates a legal path for racial profiling,” said junior Aiden Kelly.
Junior William Nowell agrees. “The march was important to be [a part of] because the Arizona immigration policy basically legalizes racism,” said Nowell.
For Nowell, family members may be affected by the new law as well.
“I have an uncle living in Texas who is Honduran and I can only imagine what it may mean for my uncle with this kind of legislation passing there. He is legally here, but that is not going to mean he will face any less discrimination,” Nowell said.
Junior Chris Axelrod also participated in the march. For him, participating in the march meant showing solidarity with immigrants in the U.S.
“It was nice that people [who are] not affected showed up. People can really use the support,” he said.
Additionally, Axelrod said, “We’re entirely a nation of immigrants. It’s just very odd to me. No one says anything about European immigrants. It’s the same thing, it was just in a different time period.”
The May Day March in Cleveland was a part of a national movement. Other cities that took part in the May Day march include Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago and Washington, D.C.