March held downtown for International Workers' Day

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of immigrants flooded the downtown streets Monday evening as they marched on International Workers’ Day.

The diverse group walked half a mile ending at the National Civil Rights Museum.

>>PHOTOS: March held downtown for International Workers' Day

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There were many ethnicities and religions outside Clayborn Temple but the common thread was patriotism and a desire for immigration reform.

"What we are asking for today is the right to work. Most immigrants in this country today are working and they are working illegally which absolutely makes no sense," said Mauricio Calvo, Director of Latino Memphis.

With Native Americans leading the way, every group that immigrated after walked after.

Memphis Police blocked traffic as more than 200 people descended on the place where so many civil rights leaders have gathered in the past.

"People think immigrants are criminals, immigrants are taking jobs away. Absolutely false," said Calvo. "We are working like everybody else we just want better working conditions. We want the right to be able to work, legally."

People came for different reasons.

"We are all immigrants here, and our policies at the current time or so harsh and cruel that I think we need to stand up and say something about that," said Becky Mercer, who showed up in support of reform.


Sha'tonia Wallace came because she does not want her nephew's Dad deported.

"I'm very worried. I love them both and I want them to stay. Hispanic lives matter," said Sha'tonia Wallace.

Regardless of the reason, the demonstrators shared a common message, 'immigrants are people too' and if everyone would walk even half a mile in their shoes they might change their mind.

Many other activist groups were participated the march, including the 'Fight for 15' and the 'Coalition of Concerned Citizens.'