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On Sunday, May 1st, Make the Road Nevada, CHISPA, the Culinary Union Local 226, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, members, and allies marched down the Las Vegas strip for immigrant workers, union labor, and for a pathway to citizenship. 

The member-led march accumulated about 100 attendees who started at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino’s fountains. We made our way through the influx of tourists and passersby in ‘Immigrants Are Essential’ shirts. Attendees also carried posters that read “Nothing Less Than Citizenship,” and “President Biden, Keep Your Promise,” in our beaming yellow and blue.

Our Immigration Justice Organizer, Rico Ocampo led the group alongside chant leaders: our Environmental Justice Organizer, Jose Rivera and our member leader, Edgardo. Collectively chanting: 

El pueblo unido, Jamas sera vencido The people united, Will never be defeated

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What do we want?, Citizenship When do we want it?, Now! Que Queremos? , Ciudadanía Cuando?, Ahora!

And more. As we finally approached the New York-New York Hotel & Casino’s Statue of Liberty, we circled around the statue as our MCs, Economic Justice Organizer, Abe Lugo and member leader, Fary took the mic to introduce the evening’s speakers. 

“In today’s program, you will hear the stories of workers, children of immigrants, and people directly affected by immigration policy,” said Lugo. 

 

Lugo and Fary welcomed Medinah Yusufzai, a first-generation Afghan American daughter of two Afghan refugees who escaped Afghanistan during the Soviet Union invasion and immigrated to the United States. They also welcomed Febe Rodriguez, a Culinary Union Local 226 member who was once undocumented by now uses her citizenship status to advocate for union labor laws and advocate by those directly impacted by immigration injustices. More speakers shared their stories, as well. 

Thank you to all those who attended the May Day and made this happen. A huge thank you to CHISPA, the Culinary Union Local 226, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and your members.  

Thank you to Artkore for printing our materials, including our shirts, posters, banners, and flyers. 

And special thank you to each and everyone of our members for this powerful, member-led march. 

 

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We’re ending the month and beginning another with a bang at Make the Road Nevada. Starting on April 25th, we will be hosting our Blitz at the MRNV office, inviting staff and members for leadership and development training. 

The week-long event, which will end April 30th, will include a combination of classroom workshops and real field experience; these efforts will create confident and stronger community leaders in Nevada as we embark on the upcoming elections.

Training and workshops will be led by MRNV staff, ranging from our communications and civic engagement sectors to our organization sectors. Some of the topics that will be discussed include but are not limited to: housing, climate, fair scheduling and worker protections, immigration reform, and education. 

We are then continuing the momentum with our May Day march on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, May 1st. 

MRNV, the immigrant community, and allies will come together to celebrate immigrant workers and union labor—and to demand President Biden to deliver permanent relief for the millions  undocumented immigrants who call the United States home.

“May Day serves as a reminder that immigrant labor is one of the many ways immigrant communities contribute to this nation,” said Rico Ocampo, our Immigrant Justice organizer. “It’s important for families across the nation to march so their power and perseverance can be visible.” 

Please join MRNV on May Day at 6:00pm in front of the Bellagio fountains; we will be marching to the New York-New York Hotel & Casino’s Statue of Liberty. If you have any questions, please contact our Immigrant Justice organizer, Rico Ocampo at rico.ocampo@maketheroadnv.org

 

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Between February 28th and March 3rd, Make the Road Nevada visited Washington D.C. to take part in two rallies and to speak with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s and Representative Steven Horsford’s teams on immigration reform. Five MRNV members joined Rico Ocampo (Immigrant Justice Organizer), Itzel Hernandez (Health Equity Organizer), and Crystal Lugo (Digital Organizer) on the four-day trip, which began with the State of Our Lives rally on Monday. 

Hundreds united outside the White House on the eve of President Biden’s State of the Union Address, demanding Biden to keep his pre-presidential promises on immigration reform. Speakers across various organizations expressed their frustrations with the unkept promises—all feeling collectively cheated and disillusioned by the president.  The attendees urged the 46th president to grant citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people in the United States, and also demanded him to deliver solutions on healthcare and climate matters.

 

“Biden, shine light on those who have been forced into the shadows; shine light on our people and give us a permanent solution: citizenship,” shared MRNV member leader, Areli. 

“Biden, act on what we put you in office for,” shared Northern Nevada MRNV member leader, Edurne. 

On Wednesday, March 2nd, MRNV staff and members met with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s team to discuss her stance on immigration reform and ask for her support. MRNV members, Jose, Ben, and Amparo shared their stories with the senator’s team for the first time. MRNV member and Nevada teacher, Ben joined MRNV in alliance after witnessing his undocumented students struggle internally and externally due to their undocumented status. 

“School is already stressful enough,” shared Ben with the senator’s team. “Being undocumented in this country adds unnecessary stress onto them.” 

MRNV member leader and DACA recipient, Jose shared his story with Cortez Masto’s team and explained his disappointment over not feeling fully accepted by the only country he has ever called home. 

“I’m tired of living a temporary life,” said Jose. “I’m not asking for a handout—all I’m asking for is a pathway to citizenship.” 

MRNV member, Amparo shared her story about being an undocumented mother of three, circled by limitations and little-to-no support from the United States due to her status. 

“I’m here in front of you expressing my stress,” shared Amparo. “I’m asking you to listen to us and put your hand on your hearts—be in community with us.”

On March 3rd, MRNV joined organizations outside the ICE building for the Communities Not Cages rally. The attendees chanted for change—calling Biden out on his adoption of Trump-era anti-immigration policies and demanding for ICE and CBP to be defunded, for detention centers to be shut down, for people to be freed, and for deportations to be stopped. 

MRNV safely returned to Nevada on Thursday night, bringing back new experiences and a stronger fight with them. Thank you for visiting, team! 

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Thank you, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s staff and Representative Steven Horsford’s staff, for speaking to our Nevada members and centering their voices.

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Missed our Washington D.C. trip? Check us out on our Twitter @maketheroadnv to view our Washington tweets, and visit our Instagram @maketheroadnv to view our Washington story highlight!

 

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A group of our gente joined together on July 2nd, 2021 at the doorstep of the Federal Building in Downtown Las Vegas to call for citizenship for all. Our elected officials, on their campaign trails and during their time in office have claimed to be champions of the people. They have posed for photos and have given half-hearted speeches about the importance of unity in difficult times. Our community has been united for decades in the call for citizenship. They have waited long enough for a system to be reformed to favor them and their families. During the pandemic, a slogan has been paraded around with no backing; the road to recovery, as of this moment, seems like it will be paved by our own community, but won’t include them. A direct pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people who have worked to keep our communities going and who have gone the extra mile in educating our children during a global pandemic needs to happen now.

During the rally, we heard the story of Karla, a DACA recipient, who had to watch as her parents suffered the consequences of the separation from their families. We heard the story of Areli who immigrated for her own safety from her home country. Lalo shared his story of the anxiety he and his daughter feel on account of the insecurity that his status brings. Erika shared her story of power, fear, and courage.

They are true American heroes who fight every day for their right to live with dignity and respect. We stand with them. We will fight alongside them. We will continue to push our elected officials to stay true to their campaign trail promises and create a path to citizenship for the 11 million who call this land their home. We are home.

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