International Workers Day Call on President Biden: Work Permits for Essential Workers

WASHINGTON, DC – Immigrant essential workers, families, and young people from around the world march and rally in the nation’s capital for International Workers Day. A month after the Key Bridge collapse kills six Latin American construction workers, essential workers and allies call on President Biden to do everything in his power to provide immigration relief to all essential workers and other long-settled immigrants of this country: It is time for President Biden to grant workers permits via temporary protected status.

The march takes place as immigrants are touted as the country’s economic engine, with the economy roaring because of their labor power. About 50 percent of the labor market’s tremendous growth came from immigrant workers between January 2023 and January 2024, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The immigrant labor force closed the labor force gap created by the pandemic, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. On International Workers Day, immigrant activists will meet at Union Station, host a short kickoff speaking program before marching to the White House, demanding their economic value be matched with human value through work permits and the safety they offer.

Directly and indirectly impacted individuals from  California, Florida, Louisiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, among other states.

WHAT: March and rally for work permits

WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, 2024

11:30 am Event participants arrive at Union Station 

12 pm: Short speaking program at Area 12 (Constitution Ave NW and 3rd Street South)

  • April Verrett, Secretary-Treasurer for the Service Employees International Union, SEIU
  • Gustavo Torres, CASA executive director
  • Guerline Jozef, Haitian Bridge Alliance co-founder and executive director

12:30 pm: March kicks off from Area 12 to Lafayette Square

2 pm: Rally at the White House – Stage at Lafayette Square with media section. Please RSVP to reserve a spot at the media section.

  • Gustavo Torres, CASA executive director
  • Guerline Jozef, Haitian Bridge Alliance co-founder and executive director
  • Perla Canales, TPS for El Salvador, 32BJ SEIU
  • Haddy Gassama, UndocuBlack
  • Hernesley Carvajal, for DED for Colombia, Make the Road Nevada
  • Jaime Contreras, Vice President, SEIU 32BJ
  • And directly affected community members

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

WHO: CASA, SEIU International, SEIU 32BJ, Alianza Americas, Haitian Bridge Alliance, America’s Voice, Make the Road Nevada, Adhikaar, UndocuBlack, African Communities United,, UNITE HERE Local 25.

WHY: The groups strongly urge Biden to use his executive powers to end a system of unnecessarily harsh immigration enforcement that has heavily relied on the criminalization and detention of immigrants and asylum seekers. Therefore, we demand a designation and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS), deferred enforcement departure (DED), and work permits for all essential workers.

MORE: Members of the media who seek to set up in front of the White House at Lafayette Square must arrive by 10 am with their camera equipment — the security sweep is at 10 am.


With over 155,000 lifetime members across 46 US states, CASA is a national powerhouse organization building power and improving the quality of life in working-class: Black, Latino/a/e, Afro-descendent, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. CASA creates change with its power building model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members.