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Over 1 Million Attend Protests

Posted on May 1, 2006
Immigration Boycott Protest
AP / Charlies Rex Arbogast

An elevated passenger train passes over a street jammed with demonstrators during a march through downtown Chicago Monday, May 1, to show support for immigrant rights. The demonstration was part of a nationwide action meant to show both support for immigration reform and opposition to legislation that would affect an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.

The mostly Hispanic immigrants flooded the streets  of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Miami and other cities, causing shutdowns at ports, factories and construction sites. The total impact is unknown.

  • Marc Cooper strips away the myths surrounding the immigration debate.

  • Read about how many companies would simply shut down if it weren’t for illegal labor.

  • Read “The Case for Globalized Labor,” which argues that it is “economically and morally wrong for the world’s poor immigrants to be locked out of work in the richest countries.”

  • AP via Wash Po:

    HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Illegal immigrants and their allies gathered Monday for marches, prayers and demonstrations on a planned national day of economic protest, boycotting work, school and shopping to show their importance to the country.

    Several thousand people marched in the rural city of Homestead, home to one Florida’s largest Mexican immigrant populations and many major growers of fruits, vegetables and nursery plants.

    Jose Cruz, 23, from El Salvador, said he took off the day from his construction job to attend the rally.

    “If I lose my job, it’s worth it,” said Cruz, who has a temporary work permit that is granted to many Central Americans. “It’s worth losing several jobs to get my papers.”


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    By Mary Hath, May 2, 2006 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The Law of God/Love is self evident - the real TRUTH is that everyone is a divine child of God.  We are all his equal children.  God is like the ocean and each one of us is an equal drop in that ocean, not one drop bigger or smaller.  Bless all.  Golden Rule: Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. It is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor’s worth simultaneously. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others.  In God’s perfect world there are no borders and all have abundance.

    Report this

    By R. A. Earl, May 2, 2006 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’ve always considered that a carrot in FRONT, in the long run, works better than a stick in BACK.

    How about we in the USA and Canada provide to MEXICO and other central American countries assistance to increase opportunities and raise “living standards” to more closely match our own? It’s my guess that far fewer Hispanics would abandon their countries and ancient cultures to live in a “foreign” land if they could establish and maintain a reasonable standard of living at home.

    Not only would illegal immigration cease to be a problem, we would now have trading partners who actually had money to buy our products!

    But I guess my suggestion, if adopted, would take all the fun out of the US sport of scapegoating and blaming victims and would only serve to feed the bunker mentality that seems to be prevalent in our leadership these days.

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    By jmkoch, May 2, 2006 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Harassment or intimidation of existing illegals is not only cruel, but futile.  This simply fuels the market for illegal workers by keeping them timid and cheap.

    Better to simply erase the employers’ incentive to hire illegally in the first place.  Don’t let businesses deduct wage expenses from their IRS returns unless the social security numbers match up against ones that also file 1040 returns with some evidence of personal income tax payment.  Some illegal hiring will still occur, but without the tax incentive.

    Work Americans won’t due?  Yes, if you pay below minimum wage, defy safety standards, or insist on fit a preferred “profile.” Swift and Tyson will find all kinds of excuses.  What they really mean is that they want workers who can’t organize.  Illegal or guest workers are the model precisely because they are passive, pliant, and below-market.

    Work that won’t get done?  I cut my own grass, clean my own things, and hire licensed trade people for big stuff I can’t handle.  The plumber or mason should not have his wages determined by subsistence rates in Oaxaca.  I’d rather pay more for my onions than eat things picked by underpaid workers.

    Labor shortages?  Offer higher wages or health benefits, and legitimate applicants will abound.

    A borderless labor market?  Only if you have so much money that you’re children don’t have to worry about getting a job or matching your living standard.  Children of today’s illegals will themselves find that successive waves of new immigrants will keep their wage rates low?

    Education as the opportunity for all?  If numbers fo diplomas determine job growth, China and India will be the winners.  Most domestic US job growth will be in semi-skilled services.  A high immigration quotient will simply mean lower wages and fewer benefits.

    It would also be a good idea to buy more goods from Mexico and less from China.  Mexico has always been a good reciprocal customer for US goods, whereas China is not.

    Many immigrants are here to stay, no matter what, and some more will come (although maybe fewer) if employers lose their present golden advantage in hiring illegally.  But there is no point in “reforms” that do no more than repeat the amnesty of 1986, create a 2nd class “guest” status, and do nothing to combat the root incentive that favors employers.

    Learn Spanish?  Not obligatory yet, but just wait.  Prepárense para una asimilación a revés. Tarde o temprano, la nueva mayoría va a exigir sus derechos y preferencias.  A lo largo, el idioma se va a defender y fortalecer.

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    By Ndini Wacho, May 2, 2006 at 7:15 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I love how the immigration debate brings out the true racist in people…

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    By Robert, May 1, 2006 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    According to the local news, “the immigrant debate” has hit Denver with a protest at the Capitol estimated at 75,000 people. On the same channel and others I have seen immigrant protests from around the country. Most with attendances in the 100,000 people range.
    Now on April 29th there was a protest in New York with a projected attendance of over 300,000. The only way I saw anything in the press about that was after I hopped onto and I’m not saying it hasn’t been mentioned, but you wouldn’t know it.
    The impeach Bush, reform the elections, get out Iraq crowd, seriously needs to take a queue from the organizers of the immigrant protests. For all our sakes.
    If they can get 300,000 people to New York, can’t they organize five protests in five major cities around the country of 100,000 each?
    I’ll bet money more than 100,000 would show up in cities like Denver, and Atlanta, and Seattle and maybe we could solve the biggest problem we (that’s immigrants, Blacks, Whites and everyone in between) have: That’s the Bush administration.
    All the polls say we want America out of Iraq and Bush out of Washington. If we aren’t hearing about it in the press and on TV, it’s because the bright, dedicated, energetic heroes out there organizing protests need to change their tactics and realize that we all can’t get to New York City. Not without losing our apartments in the process.

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    By Martin, May 1, 2006 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    “The case for global labor” has a circular html link.
    Maybe that’s no coincidence but a hidden statement. 
    I believe that the people who created this country had a vision and discovered a right to create something new: A country for the people, by the people and of the people.  They have also a right who they admit to join.
    Global labor makes us all poor.  Global labor reduces our worker rights to the lowest common denomintor, i.e. China.  Our wages to the lowest common denominator, maybe India.  We the people have the right to protect our society and carve out the life that we see fit.  If other societies are stuck in the Middle Ages, in corruption, stupidity and other social ills, then that’s too bad.  That is their problem.  We can be an example on how a functioning society works, but we don’t have to accept unlimited participation.  Are poor Mexicans the best addition to our society?  Why shouldn’t we get more highly educated Europeans or Asians instead? We are supposed the be the nation of the brave and free, not just economic opportunists who gave up on their own country.
    Our industries that rely on illegal immigrants are a drain on the American way.  They dilute the wages, prevent the education and betterment of the blacks and other disenfranchised parts of the citizenship of this country by tossing them aside into the ghetto or jail and import cheap labor who are not allowed to participate in the political process.  Scabs in the middle class’ fight for a decent live.
    I am all for a guest worker program, for prescribed ways to citizenship and a fair tax system.  Unfettered Illegal immigration will destroy the spirit of the legals. 
    Why should we watch how everything collapses. That’s insane.

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    By Carl, May 1, 2006 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I wonder how many cattle cars it would take to ship these illegals back where they belong. Gosh where is Hitler when you need him??

    Report this
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