Over 1,500 Undocumented Workers and Families March in Washington, DC

For Immediate Release

By Guest Author Christine Miranda

Over 1,500 Undocumented Workers and Families March in Washington, DC To Denounce Broken Promises from Biden and the Democratic Party, Demand “Papers, Not Crumbs”

Immigrant workers and families from a dozen different states marched and rallied for several hours, criticizing Biden and the Democrats’ broken promises and demanding permanent protection for all 11 million undocumented immigrants

Washington, DC On Saturday, May 1, immediately following the end of President Biden’s “First 100 Days," over 1,500 immigrant families and workers marched in the National Mall to denounce President Biden and the Democrats’ broken promises to the undocumented community and demand “Papers, Not Crumbs”. The event was organized by Movimiento Cosecha in coordination with Justicia Migrante, Familias Unidas en Acción, Domésticas Unidas, Never Again Action, Colectivo Kawsay, Vecinos Unidos, Pueblo Sin Fronteras with support from Poor People’s Campaign; A National Call for Moral Proposal.

The mobilization, which included rallies in front of the DC ICE building, the Washington monument, and the White House, offered a strong rejection of the Democratic Party’s long history of broken promises on immigration reform—going back decades, and now including President Biden’s first 100 days in office. Prior to his inauguration, Biden had pledged a moratorium on deportations and permanent protection for all 11 million undocumented immigrants; now, in his first three months in office, he has deported over 300,000 people and switched his priority to a “piecemeal” approach on immigration reform, which would exclude millions of undocumented immigrants.

“Immigrants like me have been waiting for much longer than 100 days for protection, dignity, and respect in the country where we have lived and worked for decades,” said Gema Lowe, an immigrant organizer with Movimiento Cosecha. “Time and time again, Democrats have promised to protect us, but turned around and joined Republicans to expand the detention and deportation machine, terrorizing our communities and separating our families. That is what happened when Obama was president and we won’t let it happen again. President Biden and the Democratic Party want to convince us that our only option is to fight amongst each other over crumbs—‘good’ vs. ‘bad’, ‘Dreamers’ vs. parents, ‘essential’ vs. ‘inessential’. But today, immigrant workers and families are refusing to accept the same old excuses and false choices. We are united in demanding the dignity and protection we deserve for all of us—all 11 million.”

Hector Morales, a Cosecha organizer from Indiana and a DACA recipient, said, “President Biden and the Democrats are now pushing piecemeal legislation such as the Dream and Promise Act. I would qualify under this bill, but it would exclude and criminalize my loved ones and community members, and I don’t accept that. We deserve much more than a few crumbs of protection at the expense of detention and deportation for millions of other immigrants. We need permanent protection for all.”

The march lasted for several hours, with many participants carrying flags and banners reading “Papeles sí, migajas no” and “Papers, Not Crumbs.” The march also featured a puppet of President Biden wearing a “Deporter in Chief” sash, referencing the title immigration groups gave to Obama, who infamously deported 3 million people while in office.

Washington D.C. – Undocumented immigrants protesting President Biden failed 100-day promise to help immigrant communities, in Washington D.C., on May 1, 2021. (Photo Credit: Movimiento Cosecha)

Speakers during the rally included Enrique Balcazar from Migrant Justice, a group from Vermont. “I am here today because we cannot trust promises from politicians,” he said. “As a community, we need to take action to force them to recognize our humanity and win the protections we deserve.” Moses Hernandez McGavin, from Vecinos Unidos in Wisconsin, said, “I am marching across the country and in my own home state politicians repeatedly promise the people prosperity, power, and change, but over and over again people are met only with crumbs. Cosecha is shifting the narrative in this historic march to demand more than just crumbs.”

The May 1 march followed a direct action on April 30 in which undocumented immigrants and allies with Movimiento Cosecha blocked traffic surrounding the White House for several hours, risking arrest and, for some, deportation, to uplift their demand of “Papers, Not Crumbs”. Ultimately, Secret Service arrested 33 allies after DHS Secretary Mayorkas was questioned during a live discussion about the risk of ICE retaliation against Cosecha’s undocumented protesters.


Movimiento Cosecha is a national movement fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.