Monday, May 01, 2006

A day without bigots: Now there's something to march for!

Today is being called "A Day without Immigrants" by various immigrant rights groups around the country who are organizing thousands of immigrants to come out and show their economic power. This and other demonstrations around the country recently are in response to a bill passed in the House back in December that would make undocumented workers and anyone who assists them a felon. To counter the surprisingly large numbers of people turning out for these protests, so far, neo-know-nothing groups are building fences and mounting "minutemen" patrols on the border.

The Federal government did its part by arresting almost 1,200 undocumented workers in an effort to show how serious it is about cracking down on employers who violate the immigration laws. [USA Today] Out of all of those arrested, seven were Americans, but something tells me they had absolutely nothing to do with hiring illegals. Their bosses, no doubt, were far, far away when La Migra came crashing in. If the government really wanted to go after employers who hired illegals they should go after Wal-Mart, which regularly violates every employment rule there is. [BBC]

But the reality is that the government isn't interested in going after the employers because they're the ones filing up the politician's re-election coffers. More than likely, these raids were aimed at showing the GOP base that the government is really doing something and as an added benefit the arrests might discourage immigrants from coming out into the streets to demonstrate. On the east coast, at least, there are a lot of rumors going around that the government is planning to pounce on illegal workers and even school students who show their faces in public.

So far, today, the WaPo reports "Washington area immigrants do not appear to be heeding the call for a national economic boycott in overwhelming numbers this morning," but that could change later on; it's still early on the West Coast.

Anoter WaPo reports says that "An estimated 300,000 people gathered by early afternoon in Chicago, and hundreds of thousands more were expected later at rallies in New York and Los Angeles. Smaller rallies were planned in more than 50 other cities across the nation, even in such far-flung places as Connecticut and South Dakota." (Wow, South Dekota? How no one out there wants an abortion on demand while they're protesting!)

I really hope these protests do what they're advertised to do, it's about time those in the rest of the country finally figure out what those of us who live, or lived, in LA or Miami already know:

It's over, get used to it!


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