Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigrants Plan Nationwide Day of Protest - Yahoo! News

"So it begins..."

"Immigrants Plan Nationwide Day of Protest" - Yahoo! News:
"Thousands of illegal immigrants and their allies across the country plan a show of force Monday to illustrate how much immigrants matter in the U.S. economy.

Some will skip work, others will protest at lunch breaks, school walkouts or at rallies after work. There are planned church services, candlelight vigils, picnics and human chains.

The doors of Hector Castillo's bakery are usually open 360 days a year, but anybody looking for his Mexican pastries or cookies will be out of luck Monday.

Castillo planned to close his doors in sympathy with an economic boycott by immigrants and their supporters. For Castillo, 45, it's a protest against legislation in the U.S. House that would make it a felony to be an illegal immigrant.

'About 80 percent of our customers are Latin people, most of them Mexican, and the proposed law will affect all of us,' he said.

Thanks to the success of previous rallies plus media attention, planning for Monday's events, collectively called Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes — A Day Without Immigrants — is widespread, though fragmented.

'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. 'What unites everyone that's going to do something on May 1 is they are making visible their strong feelings.'

On the eve of the protest, about 3,000 people rallied for immigrant rights at a park in Lynwood, a heavily Hispanic Los Angeles suburb. Organizers of the demonstration called on residents and businesses to support the boycott.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged students to stay in school during the day and advised protesters against waving flags of their native countries.

'You should wave the American flag,' he said. 'It's the flag of the country that we all are proud of and want to be a part of. Don't disrespect the traditions of this country.'"
Secure the borders. Reform the entry and processing system, including the purge of ridiculous quota requirements. Develop a tiered process for those already here through the US lax enforcement to gain legal status and/or citizenship. As long as those legally here get the first opportunity for the same.

Is such a proposal so radical or unrealistic?

I don't have a lot of faith that these protests, should they be carried out, will effectively promote these reforms. Posturing before cameras rarely does.

What a wasted opportunity!