Apr 9, 2006

Millions to March Across America Monday in Immigration Rallies

Left: March 26 immigration rights rally in Columbus, OH

(Los Angeles, CA) Monday's National Day of Action on Immigrant Rights is expected to involve millions of people in at least 120 US cities.

The rise in national demonstrations, which began in March, have brought immigration reform to the attention of the American public.

Organizers believe that the rallies will achieve unprecedented turnout and coverage.

"We`re not asking for amnesty. It`s about respect," said Hector Flores, national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC. "And taking to the streets is a way to make a statement."

Rally participants will be from a wide variety of ethnic groups.

"This is America's civil rights battle for the 21st century," said Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition, adding that Monday's actions are actually about "whether or not America will continue to be what it has always been - a nation of immigrants."

Others, however, are less enthusiastic about the prospect of millions of protesters taking to the streets tomorrow.

"Each time immigrants have these giant rallies, the more they infuriate the rest of the American population with the idea that those who break the law get to march and somehow be rewarded," said Ira Mehlman, LA spokesman for Federation for American Immigration Reform. "We have seen in France what happens when you try to bring in millions of people - in many cases who are hostile. We saw there that it didn't work, and it won't work here."

"We just want to show our power," said Juan Carlos Ruiz, general coordinator for the National Capital Immigration Coalition. "Latinos are known for being late and they say we cannot work together. We needed to show Congress we could organize ourselves."

The coalition, which represents a wide variety of immigrant, labor, civil rights, religious, and business interests, opposes House Bill 4437. This proposed legislation calls for the construction of 700 miles of border fencing, and does not address issues regarding undocumented workers already in the country.


JasonSpalding said...

Cheap labor at all costs? We have seen in France what happens.

historymike said...

There is definitely an element of working class Americans being played off against immigrants here, Jason.

Instead of being angry at the millions of high-paying jobs being outsourced overseas, Americans are turning their anger on poor immigrants who take the worst of the remaining jobs here.

Are there problems with some illegal immigrants? Sure, just like there are with any demographic group.

I say this - Americans with full employment at decent wages would not be this agitated about immigants. It is only when economic times are tough in our history that we have turned the blame on immigrants.

Peahippo said...

If being an undocumented immigrant means that you can get about as much from American society as I do -- jobs, banking and loans, welfare, shopping, etc. -- then what do I get as an actual citizen?

Yes, that's right: THE VOTE.

So, what can I do with this vote?


So, thanks for playing, thousands of marchers. Bother to become citizens and then we'll talk at the ballot box and legislature. Until then, you're subject -- not participatory -- to the American rule of law.

The narrative here is NOT just "immigrants". They are lawbreakers, and it apparently is going to take more law to corral them into that category until police can effectively deal with them.

-Sepp said...

Right on Peahippo! Nobody is against LEGAL immigration. It's the ILLEGALS people are against. "Undocumented worker" is nothing more than a leftist feel-good sham definition of what these people really are, ILLEGALS. Other than the welfare and other burdens these people are to the system, they are entering unchecked and some carrying diseases which we had eliminated here decades ago. We are the United States NOT the United Way! Everyone is welcome to come here! Fill out the damn forms, take the oath, be a citizen, learn OUR language and assimilate!
HM, the working class isn't being "played" against anyone. Some folks simply don't like the idea of people comming here illegally and getting benefits that even some Americans aren't entitled to. Or the fact that most illegals won't even bother to learn our language and are further catered to in having everything available to them in their native tongue. My daughter's first language is German but, she learned english just like everyone else without having to have an advocacy group bawling about her losing her "culture" and demanding we all provide her with teachers that speak her language or multy-lingual ATM machines to cater to her needs and so on. It seems that some people want the great American melting pot to be balkanized into several different pots which in the end makes a pretty bland stew.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

All of the illegals would be working towards their citizenship if our country hadn't set up ridiculously low restrictions in the 1920s. And that would be great, because 1) you have to learn English to get your citizenship, 2) naturalized citizens are arguably better citizens than the native-born: there are questions on the citizenship test that half of native-borns wouldn't be able to answer, which is pretty damn sad, and 3) this country needs consistent refreshing via immigration to be as great as it is (as proven by the fact that huge waves of immigrants before haven't broken the country, even though most of the things said about immigrants today were said about my great-grandparents).

"Princeton University sociologist Douglas S. Massey reports that 62 percent of illegal immigrants pay income taxes (via withholding) and 66 percent contribute to Social Security. Forbes magazine notes...only 5 percent receive food stamps or unemployment assistance; 10 percent send kids to public schools." Full article.

In comparison, "[i]n 2003, the last year for which there are official USDA data, 36.2 million (or 11.2% of) Americans lived in households unable to purchase adequate food, up from 34.9 million hungry Americans in 2002." Jan. 2006 data has 26.6 million on food stamps--a smidgen under 10% of the 300 million folks here.

Overall, we're not exactly giving them a free ride.

More here.
Still more, if you aren't ill yet. :)

Hooda Thunkit said...

This whole illegal immigrant issue is a mess.

And, aybody that doesn't like it is free to leave and go somewhere else, where they would, of course, be (possibly illegal) immigrants. . .

vicious little circle, eh?

historymike said...


You incisively rooted out my latent populist streak in the "played off" comment. :-}

NWTPG: Nice historical context; Americans tend, in my opinion, get a little too freaked out about immigration throughout our history.

Hooda: Very much agreed. Neither party is quite sure what to do about illegal immigration, and both are salivating at the prospect of tapping into the undocumented population as a source of future political capital.

Sickening, really...

Stephanie said...


Sorry, but some illegal immigrants DO GET TO VOTE!!! It depends on where you live.