Monday, April 10, 2006

Immigration March in Washington, DC

This post does not directly deal with the housing bubble. Rarely, do I stray from the topic at hand. However, I was there and I wanted to share my observations from the march and rally. The blogosphere needs to be represented in the ground reporting. Immigration will be a very important issue in the coming years.

The weather was perfect for the rally and march which surely contributed to the impressive turnout. The numbers are huge. Initial estimate for immigration protest rally in Washington, DC is 180,00 to 350,000.

  • Some of the protester wanted amnesty for the illegal immigrants.
  • Metro announcements also in Spanish. Normally Metro subway announcements are just in English.
  • Mainly Americans flags were waved. Some people carried Mexican Flags, El Salvador.
  • Lots of people dressed in white as that is one the color chosen by the demonstration organizers.
  • Some of the marchers were chanting slogans and also "USA, USA"
Some of the protest signs read:
  • "Deportation destroys families"
  • "Justice in Concrete"
  • Aministia, Full Right for all Immigrants"
  • "No one is illegal" on a giant paper mache
  • Stop HR ..."
  • "1st generation American, Mexican American, my vote will count in 2008"
  • Lots of "We are America"
  • "Love Thy Neighbors, Neighbors are not a felony"
  • "I'm for legal immigration" - white Caucasian holding sign.
  • "Liberty and Justice for All"
  • Justice 4 Immigrant, Justice 4 All"
  • "We are not criminals"
  • "Immigrant Control = Xenophia"
  • "Choose Freedom, Not Fear"


More pictures may be posted later on. Stay tuned.

14 comments:

  1. Immigrant control = xenophobia?

    Right.

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  2. I was there, too. My immigrant ancestors came in the 1630's, but I have a foreign husband and had to delay my return to the US by almost a year after we got caught up in the last wave of anti-immigrant hysteria. I don't think people have any clue what the House bill would do, if passed. Many of the 'illegals' actually have every right to be here-- but the INS has lost their papers or failed to tell them about some mistake on their application. The House law would criminalize the immigrants and everyone who tried to help them, as well as spending many billions to build a wall across most of the Southern border.

    That's apparently so-o-o-o much easier politically than enforcing the laws against hiring illegal immigrants-- which would solve the problem tout... Oops! Sorry! I almost destroyed America there, letting slip a French phrase...

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  3. "Many of the 'illegals actually have every right to be here."

    Oh, come on. Are you just trolling, or do you really think that? Are you really that stupid? There's 10-20 million illegals in this country who sneaked into the country and never even applied for a visa.

    I don't care what it costs to close the border. If it costs a few billion, so be it. It's costing us tens of billions to pay for their health care, food stamps, welfare, WIC, education, etc. And then there's the national security concerns. You have to know who is coming into your country and for what purpose.

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  4. Unless your family is Native American (even then really) were all immigrants at some level and oddly enough since the founding of the country immigration has been a touchy issue, Irish Jewish, and Chinese, then Italians and Polish, now Latin Americans and Africans, but a funny thing happens after a generation or so, most of them settle in and thier children go on to great success enriching all of us with their contribution to this land. Every illegal I've known busted their ass doing grunt work that you only saw the occasional white face doing. Given the size of the Western Union payments back to Latin America I don't think most of them are here for food stamps welfare or WIC. Also, keep in mind that most of them have fake but good enough documentation (so tax witholding is generally taken out of the checks and that's never going to get claimed).

    If we had better immigration laws most (6-9 month work visas that were easy to obtain) you would know who arrived and why they came. Much cheaper than a wall on our Southern border (besides the fences across the border to Canada wouldn't keep a terrorist out for more than a day (gotta get a ride to a lonely part of that border).

    A wall is mostly a big showy waste of money (they'll just find another way in (ladders, flights, tunnels, boats, etc) what do you propose to do about the overall demand for laborers to move here (and corresponding demand for their labor)?

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  5. If politicians really wanted to stop immigration to this country, they would propose serious penalties for any person or company that hired an illegal. The current penalties are a slap on the wrist. Since a "wall" seems to be the main feature of the current legislation, I have to conclude that the politicians who raised the topic are trying to distract American voters from other topics. And it seems to be working.

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  6. The marchers were warned to bring American flags as the Mexican flags garnered so much bad press a couple weeks ago.

    The best way to stop the illegals is to arrest their bosses.

    It is not true that illegals are doing jobs Americans don't want. There was a time in this country when home construction was a very respectable, good paying job that supported a middle class family. And it was not that long ago.

    And finally, it really does seem that this whole isue has sprung to the fore in recent weeks to distract the public from something of far greater importance.

    Who knows what that is but I mean, really, this illegals thing has been going on for decaes. Why such a big deal now?

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  7. Anonymous,

    That is exactly right. It's not that the jobs illegals do, American's don't want to do. They just don't want to do it for the wage that the illegals get paid (next to nothing). By allowing the illegals to do these jobs for almost nothing, we are actually taking jobs away from blue collar Americans that used to do these jobs for a decent wage.

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  8. I was at the event yesterday. I particularly liked hearing from the local high school student leaders.

    "Si, se puede!"

    We can have compassion for other people. There is no reason to conserve our compassion!

    In the DC area the number 1 country of origin is El Salvador. Most of the Salvadorans are here as a DIRECT result of US Foreign Policy. We sponsored genocide in that country 25 years ago. Estimates of 30-50 THOUSAND Salvadorans were murdered by the government we gave billions of dollars in military aid. How can we turn these people away? They left their country to escape political and religious repression. They came here because we are supposed to stand for political and religious freedom. Building a wall will not stop people from yearning for freedom and trying to escape repression.

    (Check out the film "Salvador" by Oliver Stone for a good look at what happened in Salvador and why they came here. The DVD has a great documentary with interviews of the former ambassador discussing what happened and how the US was involved.)

    It seems to me that this is an attempt to cover up the lies, distortion and illegalities of the Bush administration.

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  9. I don't see that jobs are being "taken away" from anybody. Have you looked at the unemployment rate lately?

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  10. The whole issue of immigration is one that is complex and involves many issues.

    The simplistic solutions from the extreme right and left will never work; there are enough laws on the books right now to enable effective control of the problem the real issue is the will to enforce the laws already in place.

    As I have stated in other forums one real way to effectively control the problem is to cut off the supply of illegal jobs, this would encourage people to get in line and immigrate legally.

    The scumbags that want a cheap maid or gardener or picker of crops are the ones that perpetuate this inequitable system. They in turn need to be the ones to pay the price. Prosecute those low lifers and most of the problem will go away.

    The heat and fire generated by this issue is, I believe hiding the true tragedy of this issue that is the human toll that the whole thing is generating, from the people who loose their lives crossing the borders, to those that are persecuted once they get here to those that are suffering in sub standard conditions of work. Additionally at the other end the costs to the whole community in providing health care, education and law enforcement, these are cost borne by us all.

    Prosecute the employers first, stop people from risking their lives crossing and make available a workable immigration system that is the way to end this whole mess.

    In My Humble Opinion

    www.swagy.com

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  11. swagy - The existing penalties are a slap on the wrist. The "enforce the existing laws" refrain is a ruse, just like the "wall". The penalties need to be increased.

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  12. Some Irish guys and a black-Native American guy talk about immigration

    http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/2006/04/naacp-trial-naacp-missing-in-dallas.html

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  13. Hi, I enjoyed your article on immigration, I think this is a very important dialogue to have and that Bloggers are making the climate very democratic. Feel free to look at some of my posts on the issue at my blog www.debaterelatepontificate.blogspot.com

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  14. I agree with steinravnik ... and many others ...
    I'm an immigrant. I legally arrived in the US by marying my husband, an American citizen. We lived five years in my native country and I did not want to leave, but I had to follow my husband. After I became an American citizen, I worked for the Department of State, in an American Consulate, adjudicating all types of visas. My husband still works for the Dept. of State. Believe me, there are many illegal aliens in the US. Many of them didn't even apply for a visa ... They work illegally, do not pay taxes, do not pay health care and guess who pay for all these... Something must be done, we need some laws to preclude so many illegal immigrants entering the US. It's true, America is a nation, which was built by immigrants. But let's make a difference between legal and illegal immigrants.

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