On May 1, 2016, I went to Mountain View, California to walk in their May Day march for immigration reform and housing justice. In the past 6 months, many people in my apartment complex have had to move out due to rising rents, so I sympathize with both the immigrant activists and housing activists.
At around December, everyone in our complex received a notice stating that our rents would rise to $3000. The new owners of the complex had decided to no longer accept a government subsidy that would limit the amount that they would raise the rents. During that time whenever we would see a neighbor, we would always ask each other the same question: "Are you moving out?" It was sad for all of us, as it was a friendly community where everyone would say hi to everyone else. I frequently got into long conversations with my neighbors as we were doing laundry. Lisa and I eventually found a new home, but we worry about our neighbors who are trying to find an affordable place in the Bay Area that is not too far from their work.
I've always been a strong supporter of immigrant rights and immigration reform. I felt that this year I should be especially vocal in my support for immigrants because of the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and many of the Republican candidates in their Presidential primaries. Mitt Romney recently stated that he could never support Donald Trump because he was worried that Trump's rhetoric would cause trickle down racism that would adversely affect the Latino, Muslim and other minority communities. Romney said in a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer:
I don't want to see trickle-down racism. I don't want to see a president of the United States saying things which change the character of the generations of Americans that are following. Presidents have an impact on the nature of our nation, and trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny, all these things are extraordinarily dangerous to the heart and character of America.
I think Romney is right. The illegal immigrants that are the target of so much of Trump's and Cruz's venom have actually had a very beneficial effect on America's economy. Most of them are not criminals or rapists, but are hard working people who want to support their families and insure a brighter future for their children. To try to scapegoat illegal immigrants for the problems of this country is the worst form of demagoguery.
Here are some photos I took of the May Day Rally in Mountain View.