Immigration

May Day Protesters Rally For Houston’s Immigrant Workers

Nearly a third of the city’s labor force is foreign born

Immigrant and labor groups, including the organization Houston Unido, held bilingual rallies in downtown Houston for May Day on Tuesday. Activists called for better protections for immigrant workers.

Immigrants make up nearly a third of Houston’s labor force.

“No city has benefited more from immigration than Houston, Texas,” said Rice University professor Stephen Klineberg, whose research shows immigration drives population growth in the region.

“After 1982 the Anglo population of Harris County stopped growing,” commented Klineberg, who also noted that “people didn’t leave, they just got older.”

“And all the growth of Houston and of Harris County has been the influx of African Americans, Latinos and Asians,” Klineberg added.

As Houston’s Anglo-American workforce retires, a younger, more diverse population is taking their place, many of them immigrants like Victor Posadas.

Posadas delivers airplane food for United Airlines and he said that, after 10 years of work, his salary increases not by dollars, but cents.

Posadas rallied for the rights of his coworkers, who are mostly immigrants, to unionize like most United employees.

“We’re fighting for equality, we’re fighting for respect, we’re fighting for job security,” said Posadas.

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