May 1, 2006

Un Día Sin Inmigrantes

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(Los Angeles, CA; Washington, DC) Millions of immigrants are prepared to stay away from work, school and stores in the US today as part of a nationwide boycott against immigration laws.

"We've unequivocally called on all families to participate in the Great American Boycott and the marches - and that translates into not going to work, not going to school, not shopping and not selling," said Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican-American Political Association.

The successes of rallies in March and April led to the massive boycott, collectively called Un Día Sin Inmigrantes ("A Day Without Immigrants").

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops urged protesters to attend Mass instead of boycotting, and also suggested that churches toll their bells in memory of immigrants who died trying to come to America. The bishops also called for students to stay in school.

The immigration protests began in March in opposition to a Congressional bill that would make felons of illegal immigrants, while walling off a large section of the 2,000-mile US-Mexican border. Despite passing in the House of Representatives, the bill has stalled in the Senate.

No one is quite sure how the varied protests will turn out, or exactly how many people will participate in el paro.

"It's highly unpredictable what's going to happen," said Harley Shaiken, director of the Center for Latin American studies at the University of California, Berkeley. "What unites everyone that's going to do something on May 1 is they are making visible their strong feelings."

9 comments:

-Sepp said...

Illegals protesting our immigration laws makes as much sense as rapists, robbers and, murderers protesting those laws that effect them. I'll ask again, what the hell is so wrong with comming here legally? When I returned stateside with my wife and daughter, we filled out the paperwork and made the visits to see the immigration office and waited for the paperwork to come back. My wife has her resident alien card (good for 10 years) and my daughter has dual citizenship. The only stipulation was that my wife was told she was not going to be eligible for welfare which is EXACTLY what I suspect is the main reason illegals don't want to become legals. What the hell else could it be?

historymike said...

Sorry, Sepp, I do not equate illegal immigrants with violent felons.

Perhaps a more accurate analogy would be unlicensed drivers, or other people failing to meet the documentary requirements of the state.

I do agree that legal immigrants are justifiably perturbed that illegal immigrants fail to follow the law.

As far as their reasons for coming, I would say that they are as varied as the people themselves. Some want to come and make a quick buck, while others sek to stay permanently.

Some might choose state welfare, but my suspicion is that most want to work.

historymike said...

Here's a tech-related note:

By using the diacritical accent mark in "Día" in my post title and text ("Un Día Sin Inmigrantes") the post did not show up in Technorati or Topix.net.

Also, by using the correct spelling - "in-migrantes" - my post also got lost, because English speakers are searching for "im-migrantes."

Sigh. All of those college Spanish classes going to waste....

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

-sepp, are you suggesting that illegals are eligible for welfare benefits? Because they're not.

1996 welfare reform laws ensured that even legal immigrants wouldn't be eligible, let alone illegals. (Forged documents, of course, are another matter entirely.)

Fact is, most of the illegals would rather be legal (and as I've pointed out in previous posts, almost 2 in 3 actually pay taxes)...but immigration limits imposed in 1924 are preventing them (that's right, we used to have unrestricted immigration in this country).

There are 10-20 million here already, depending on whose numbers you believe--way too many to get rid of. (We can't keep drugs out of prisons--but we expect to keep people from crossing our borders? Really?) The only question is, can we integrate them into society? Or are we going to be stuck with a bunch of people within our borders who aren't citizens and never will be? That hasn't worked out too well in European countries.

-Sepp said...

Ok NWTPG, if not in fact welfare, then certainly social services that are meant to help LEGAL CITIZENS rather than any Joe (or jose) that jumps a fence and asks for it. (FAKE / FORGED documents DO play a major part and yet another crime in themselves) They do indeed flood our emergency rooms with no intent on ever paying KNOWING that this country will not refuse medical help to those unable to pay (another citizen benefit). Who do you think picks up the tab in the end?
HM, I was not making a comparison but, driving a point. Illegal IS illegal no matter how small or large the infraction. We are a civil society based on laws that govern all of us. Letting a million or so slide because they have a minority status and advocacy groups with nothing better to do than stay home from work to protest for them is no excuse. Don't want to be a lawbreaker? Don't want to be labeled an "illegal"? Don't want to live in fear of LAMIGRE?" Come here legal. Plain and simple.
If I can do it for my family, why the hell can't they do it for theirs? Maybe since I'm a white guy bringing a wife and child from a European country, I'm just expected to follow the rules while Jose Cuervo is allowed to waltz in and demand his citizenship and all the benefits AND, demand we make the world bilingual for his lazy ass not to have to learn the language of the country he just invaded? BS!
Still waiting for the answer as to what is so wrong with comming here legally?

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

I will concede that illegals do use some services at our expense, especially in states which are more lenient in their policies. In my experience, however, because of the fear of being reported to Border Patrol, they won't show up at an ER until they're almost dead and actually need an ER, which is more than I can say for many of our fellow citizens (24% increase in visits by privately insured people versus 10% by uninsured in one study).

"Still waiting for the answer as to what is so wrong with comming here legally?"

Nothing--I don't think anyone's knocking legal immigration. If anything, the illegals actually show how great this place is: people are so desperate to get here, they're willing to break all the laws. It also shows that our immigration limits are probably too low.

I absolutely agree that illegal immigrants shouldn't get off scot-free, but we can't just have this permanent, unintegrated underclass within our borders--it isn't safe in the long run.

If anything, upping our limits (make illegals start from the beginning of the process--no credit for being here) would reduce the number of people crossing at non-official crossing points, which would be a plus for border security (i.e. anyone crossing at a non-standard point is more likely to be a smuggler or terrorist, not just some guy looking for a job).

M A F said...

Si se puede!

This nations economy needs illegals to work in low paying jobs to keep wages down and profits up. And as long as Mexico is a client-state to the US, there will always be an influx on 'illegal' immigrants coming into the country.

Another interesting point that seems to get lost (Gee what a suprise!) is that of the 11-12 million 'illegal' immigrants in the US, 40 percent of them originally came to the US legally and have remained in the country despite the fact that their work/student/vacation visa has expired.

The only reason that illegal immigration is an issue is because the Republicans couldn't run on the invasion and occupation of Iraq and expect to win re-election.

Oh, seep, congrats on your equating all illegal' immigrants in this country with "rapists, robbers and murderers." You remind me of the erudite thinkers like Limbaugh, Savage, Beck and Hannity.

-Sepp said...

MAF, I'm not "equating" the crimes in the least. Your 40% number sounds way over inflated. I have also heard 40% being tossed around as the percentage of illegals currently in California prisons which sounds pretty high to me too. My entire point here is that we shouldn't be rewarding these people for comming here illegaly.

It doesen't surprise me that you would have to find a way to turn this into a Bush / Republican issue when it's not. Illegals have always been a problem as far as I can remember. They certainly were a problem in Arizona where I lived and that was 20 years ago. The Republicans (if you wanna go there) have been forced to pay attention to the issue since people in the states most effected are fed up. If the democrats were in power today, they would be forced to pay attention too.
The big "strike" failed to stop our economy in it's tracks so, I doubt illegals are the lynchpin to the country's prosperity as they seem to think. In fact, other than slowing some traffic down, the impact was nil.

Hooda Thunkit said...

A few thoughts:

Are we better as a country for having the illegals here?

If we could round the illegals up and send them back, would we be better off?

By our benign neglect, we could be seen as encouraging illegal immigration, so we ARE partly to blame.

Wouldn't it be prudent to find some way to allow the non-violent illegals to buy or earn legal immigrant status, while toughening the penalties on those that hire illegals, thus stemming the further tide of illegal immigration?

Now would be a good time to remake and enforce a new immigration policy, IMO.