Archive for Saturday, March 25, 2006

Thousands rally across nation for immigrant rights

March 25, 2006


— Thousands of people across the country protested Friday against legislation cracking down on illegal immigrants, with demonstrators in cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta staging school walkouts, marches and work stoppages.

Congress is considering bills that would make it a felony to be in the United States illegally, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border. The proposals have angered many Hispanics.

The Los Angeles demonstration led to fights between black and Hispanic students at one high school, but the protests were largely peaceful, authorities said.

Chantal Mason, a sophomore at George Washington Preparatory High, said black students started a scuffle with Hispanic students as they left classes to take part in a protest.

"It was horrible, horrible," Mason said. "It's ridiculous that a bunch of black students would jump on Latinos like that, knowing they're trying to get their freedom."

One black and one Hispanic student interceded to calm their classmates and help restore order, said Los Angeles district spokeswoman Monica Carazo.

In Phoenix, police said 20,000 demonstrators marched to the office of Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, co-sponsor of a bill that would give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country. The turnout clogged major thoroughfares in what officials said was one of the largest protests in the city's history. People also protested outside Kyl's Tucson office.

Karen Enriquez, 17, center, of Kansas City, Kan., chants "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can," Friday along with protesters at Emerson Park in Kansas City, Kan. The group rallied at the end of a march against proposed legislation that will crack down on illegal immigrants.

Karen Enriquez, 17, center, of Kansas City, Kan., chants "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can," Friday along with protesters at Emerson Park in Kansas City, Kan. The group rallied at the end of a march against proposed legislation that will crack down on illegal immigrants.

Kyl pointed out that most were speaking out against the House bill making it a felony to be an illegal immigrant, not his bill, which would also step up border enforcement and create a temporary guest-worker program.

"They (protesters) should be pleased that the Senate is probably going to address this in a much more comprehensive way," Kyl told the Tucson Citizen newspaper during a meeting with its editorial board.

In Los Angeles, more than 2,700 students from at least eight high schools and junior high schools walked out, district officials said. Some carried Mexican flags as they walked down the streets, police cruisers behind them.

Some of the students visited other high schools, trying to encourage additional students to join their protest, but some schools were locked down to keep students from leaving, Carazo said.

In Georgia, activists said tens of thousands of workers did not show up at their jobs Friday after calls for a work stoppage to protest a bill passed by the Georgia House on Thursday.

That bill, which has yet to gain Senate approval, would deny state services to adults living in the U.S. illegally and impose a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers from illegal immigrants.

Supporters say the Georgia measure is vital to homeland security and frees up limited state services for people legally entitled to them. Opponents say it unfairly targets workers meeting the demands of some of the state's largest industries.


ChasL 9 years ago

Ya think many of those "illegals" have their conceal carry permit, hmmmmm??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

They can't get one in Kansas-- not even legal resident aliens can get one.

ChasL 9 years ago

Good, I guess that means they won't be carrying guns when they illegally cross our border.

Godot 9 years ago

We'd better hope we don't end up in a war with Mexico; there are enough Mexicans in the US now to constitute an army.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

The last time we were in a war with Mexico, it was instigated by Southern slaveholding interests with the express purpose of annexing northwestern Mexico, which soon thereafter became southwestern United States.

There's a certain irony that so many "illegal" Mexicans now live in territory that was stolen from their country 150 years or so ago.

Godot 9 years ago

I don't know where to begin with that one, Bozo. Maybe I am not understanding you, once again. Please explain what you mean by saying that territory was stolen from Mexico. Are you talking about Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, or all of the above, or something else?

Godot 9 years ago

Perhaps Bozo refers to the battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, where Texians fought for their independence from Mexico. Mexico established its independence from Spain in 1823. It was only 10 years later that the Texians began their drive for independence from Mexico, and 2 years after that that they defeated the Mexican army and declared Texas an independent country.

If Bozo calls that "stealing," then so be it. I just want to know why, in Bozo's way of thinking, the Mexicans didn't steal Mexico from Spain?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

Those "Texians" were allowed into the Mexican territory of Texas as colonists under the conditions that they would be citizens of Mexico. It didn't take them long to decide that they wanted the whole enchilada.

But I was primarily referring to the unilateral actions a few years later that removed the territory from Mexico that is now SW US-- California, Arizona, NM and parts of other states.

shanefivedyes 9 years ago

The story line should have read "Thousands of illegal immigrants rally across the nation". I would hope that the leaders of our nation listen to those that vote, and secure our borders.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

They'll be listening first to those who fund their campaigns, and a lot of them are saying they need the cheap labor.

shanefivedyes 9 years ago

Not good enough for me, and I vote and will be watching. Last time I checked their were legal ways of entering our country. If we enforce our laws and stop exploiting the "cheap labor" Illegal immigrants would be no more.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years ago

The legal ways of entering aren't going to do anything for those who are now entering illegally. That's why they enter illegally.

If the feds really clamp down on it, the enforcement costs alone will be considerable. Hiring more border patrols, erecting fences on thousands of miles of borders, costs of incarcerating those who are caught until they can be deported. We're talking billions here, not millions.

Replacing that cheap labor will cost the businesses that rely on them even more billions. Guess who they'll pass those costs onto.

I'm not saying that the status quo is a good thing-- there just aren't any magic or cheap fixes.

shanefivedyes 9 years ago

How about holding those that do the hiring accountable. No more jobs, no more wave after wave of illegal immigrants.

Wilbur_Nether 9 years ago

Well, that sounds neither magic nor cheap to me.

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