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.