Updated and Bumped
I wrote a post earlier today in which I highlighted parts of Newt Gingrich‘s immigration ideas. In that post, I said most Americans understand why immigrants, legal and illegal, work so hard to get to America. I have to say, however, that any sympathy Americans may still have for the plight of illegal immigrants will be gone if the protest organizers achieve what they hope to on May 1. That’s when a massive illegal immigration protest is scheduled to take place in a number of cities across America. Take a look at what the organizers hope to accomplish:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Pro-immigration activists say a national boycott and marches planned for May 1 will flood U.S. streets with millions of Latinos to demand amnesty for illegal immigrants and shake the ground under Congress as it debates reform.
Such a massive turnout could make for the largest protests since the civil rights era of the 1960s, though not all Latinos — nor their leaders — were comfortable with such militancy, fearing a backlash in Middle America.
“There will be 2 to 3 million people hitting the streets in Los Angeles alone. We’re going to close down Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno,” said Jorge Rodriguez, a union official who helped organize earlier rallies credited with rattling Congress as it debates the issue.
They can go right ahead and try it. Not only will the American citizens who live in these cities be really ticked off, but the rest of America watching these cities being shut down by border-crossing, law-ignoring illegal immigrants will be disgusted as well.
And take a look at what the protesters are demanding:
“We want full amnesty, full legalization for anybody who is here (illegally),” Rodriguez said. “That is the message that is going to be played out across the country on May 1.”
What arrogance. Not only did these illegal immigrants sneak across the border and acquire fake documents for the purpose of working here illegally, their children are educated here at taxpayer expense and they get free healthcare. Now they actually have the nerve to demand full amnesty as if they are victims of some kind of American oppression. On top of that, many of these people make their money under the table, so they don’t pay taxes that go into the funding they require.
But, there seems to be some dissention in the ranks:
Hispanic leaders have been divided on how strong the nationwide May 1 event should be. Some shy away from the term “boycott” as being divisive and prefer a “National Day of Action” to describe the event. Others want supporters of the effort to stop shopping for the one day to dramatize their economic impact.
But there appears to be growing sentiment to back away from walking off the job or skipping school, which have brought appropriate sanctions in previous, smaller demonstrations…
…Local organizers are asking students not to leave school but to join the rally afterward. They also don’t want workers to walk off their jobs unless they have permission to use leave or vacation time.
Does anyone think this will happen?
Update: The California State Senate has endorsed the immigrant boycott:
State senators on Thursday endorsed Monday’s boycott of schools, jobs and stores by illegal immigrants and their allies as supporters equated the protest with great social movements in American history.
By a 24-13 vote that split along party lines, the Senate approved a resolution that calls the one-day protest the Great American Boycott 2006 and describes it as an attempt to educate Americans “about the tremendous contribution immigrants make on a daily basis to our society and economy.”
“It’s one day … for immigrants to tell the country peacefully, ‘We matter … (we’re) not invisible,'” said Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, the resolution’s chief author. She said immigrants make up a third of California’s labor force and a quarter of its residents.
Opponents said the nonbinding resolution was misleading because it failed to mention a goal of the boycott was pressuring Congress to legalize millions of undocumented people.
“It is a disingenuous effort to put the government of California on record supporting open borders,” said Sen. Bill Morrow, R-Oceanside.
This protest is neither American nor great.
Expect Democratic groups to recruit at these protests.
Jason at Texas Rainmaker reports that the California Senate Democrats are planning a walk-out in solidarity with the illegal immigrant protest. Jason has the audio of a Republican state senator responding to this stunt.
Update II: César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández at AlterNet explains why he will join these protests.
Update III: Dan at Riehl World View reacts:
And it isn’t going to be pretty. This isn’t 1968. They aren’t former slaves, they aren’t even citizens. People are going to get pissed.
Update IV: Peter Brown has an article at Real Clear Politics about Monday’s protest and boycott:
If the folks who want to allow illegal immigrants to become legal residents and eventually citizens are lucky, the planned May 1 general strike to pressure Congress in their direction will be a bust.
That’s because even more than mass demonstrations, the work, school and shopping boycott is likely to backfire — pushing public opinion toward stricter border security without making it possible for such immigrants to remain in the United States legally.
Of course, some immigrant-rights activists understand the potential backlash, which is why there has been division within that community over the wisdom of the May 1 protest.
Update V: Michelle Malkin has obtained copies of the May 1 protest planning documents from the LA Unified School District. I recommend you go to her site and read them.
Update VI: The Mexican Congress supports the immigration protest. Of course it does. The Mexican government is thrilled poor Mexicans are coming to America because each poor Mexican who crosses the border into America is one fewer Mexican it has to support. But it is interesting that both the California Senate and the Mexican government are encouraging the protest.
Immigration Common Sense
Whose National Anthem Is It?
Democrats Kill Immigration Reform While Courting Immigrant Vote
Democrats Recruiting at Illegal Immigrant Protests
Massive Immigrant Protest Scheduled for Monday
Immigration Compromise Collapse: Bloggers React
The 1965 Immigration Act