Skip to comments.US immigrants mobilizing for major 'action' (7,000 Muslims to march in Chicago)
Posted on 04/09/2006 5:51:02 PM PDT by MammalModerate
LOS ANGELES - In Los Angeles, Eun Sook Lee will march on behalf of Korean illegal immigrants, at least 50,000, living in southern California. On Boston Common, Punam Rogers will join other Indian émigrés, as well as business clients and students from China, Germany, and Britain. In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Ivalier Duvra will take to the streets to draw attention to Haitian newcomers who he says need refugee status.
Coming on the heels of demonstrations in several larger cities, a National Day of Action on Immigrant Rights Monday is expected to involve people in some 90 US municipalities, well above organizers' goal of 10. Described as the biggest social movement of Hispanics since the United Farm Workers of Cesar Chavez, the plans for protests, vigils, and marches include a less-visible tier of people stirred to action over American immigration policy: non-Latinos.
"If you watch TV and read the papers, you would think this [immigration reform] is primarily an issue only for Latinos or only illegals or only poor immigrants. [Monday] will show differently," predicts Abdul Malik Mujahid, a Chicago-based Islamic cleric who says 7,000 Muslims will march there Monday to protest the "climate of fear" since 9/11. "Latino organizers have done a big favor not just to themselves but to all other immigrants, as well as America itself, by standing up and saying this country's immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed. Now the rest of us must join in."
The national day of action seems to have expanded exponentially with the organizing power of the Internet. Besides demonstrations, speeches, processions, and assorted performances (from drumming to skits), groups are planning work-walkouts, product boycotts, fasting, and other measures.
Smaller cities where events are planned include Bakersfield, Calif.; Fort Myers, Fla.; Hays, Kan.; and Oxford, Ohio, and include groups as diverse as Ukrainians, Palestinians, Irish, labor, and antiwar coalitions.
"No one could have anticipated this kind of involvement even as little as six months ago," says organizer Rich Stolz of Fair Immigration Reform Movement, one of the organizing coalitions for National Action Day. "Once it got announced, it spread nationally, regionally, locally through groups which have been building relationships for years. They know this is the moment to do something unprecedented."
Organizers originally designed a broad platform they hoped would attract a wide array of immigrants - Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, Europeans, Africans, and Pakistanis. The specific objection is legislation, approved by the US House in December, that makes it a felony (rather than a civil offense) to be in the US illegally. But organizers are also asking for something: worker protections, civil rights measures, family reunification, and immigration reform that defines "a path to citizenship for current undocumented and future immigrants to the US."
"This is America's civil rights battle for the 21st century," says Chung-Wha Hong of the New York Immigration Coalition, an umbrella organization for about 150 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. Immigrants are anticipating a duel between the House and the Senate over immigration-reform language, she says, but Monday's actions are really about "whether or not America will continue to be what it has always been - a nation of immigrants.
Anger has been building among immigrants for decades, Ms. Hong says, but it has intensified over the past decade, as immigrants felt targeted by welfare reform, what they see as a civil-rights rollback, and, most recently, anti- terror laws. Post-9/11 crackdowns, legislation denying social services to illegals in California, and Minutemen border operations have roused immigrants, legal and not. "Immigrants have been feeling like targets for all that is wrong and want to stand up and show how they contribute to the diversity and richness of America," she says.
L.A.'s Ms. Lee says her major concern is law-enforcement sweeps through Korea-town, which have created a climate of fear in the immigrant community. Boston's Ms. Rogers says her priority is visa procedures for foreigners who come to America to study, which she says need to encourage the world's best and brightest to stay in America. Mr. Duvra says US refugee policy needs an overhaul.
While organizers say a big turnout and a broad diversity at Monday's events will send a signal to politicians in Washington wrangling over immigration reform, others see possible down sides.
"Each time immigrants have these giant rallies, the more they infuriate the rest of the American population with the idea that those who break the law get to march and somehow be rewarded," says Ira Mehlman, L.A. spokesman for Federation for American Immigration Reform. "We have seen in France what happens when you try to bring in millions of people ... in many cases who are hostile. We saw there that it didn't work, and it won't work here."
Others note that it is not likely so many participating groups will be able to agree later, when it's time to iron out the details in whatever legislation emerges. The Iraq antiwar movement and the antiglobalization movement are cases in point, they say.
"There are a lot of fringe groups tagging along on this to get exposure and legitimacy and to network," says Britt Minshall, a 16-year career law enforcer and now a pastor at United Church of Christ. "Once the main goal is accomplished, they begin to fight and hurt the cause they apparently came together for."
Activists themselves have some concerns. "I worry a bit over whether these events will be able to remain be peaceful," says Rogers. And demonstrators who carry the flags of their home countries may leave a bad taste in the mouths of Americans, she says. Such was the case in recent demonstrations in Washington.
Thank you, Quislings.
I hope you choke on your dirt cheap illegal alien labor savings.
It appears they want to go to the in-your-face mode. This might be called annoying, maybe even obnoxious behavior.
What a can of worms this has become. According to this article, we might as well forget about any kind of immigration laws and any one into this country. We won't know who or what they are. Now it's not only the Mexicans, its the Koreans, Islamics (we need more ragheads in this country). It's the beginning of anarchy!!! Get out your guns...buy a few extra...lots of ammo. It's going to get crazy.
The politicians better get all the illegals under control and NOW!
We are now a "nation of illegal immigrants"!
50 thousand illegal Koreans in La?....how insane!
7000 ....huh. Less than a battalion. You think the INS can handle that?
They could if they were allowed to.
It's like that joke about the Cowboy, Indian, and Muslim sitting in the airport lounge in Billings, Montana.
OK......I'll bite. What's the joke.
Barf Barf Barf Barf!!!!
White Christian middle class about to be evicted from our own country...
Thanks to our leaders....
Hate crimes against whites is about to tripple..home invasions,rapes,murders,car jackings,you name it....
Our leaders will have let them know that there is no law that will stop them now...and they will get very very bold...
when the courts and cops back them against law abiding tax payers...this just turned into Zimbabwe USA...
Mugabe is in the house....
I'm lousy at telling jokes, but...
The Indian complains to the other two that once his was a great and proud people who roamed the plains and mountains, at one with the land, and lord of all they surveyed. Alas, those days are gone, and now his people are barely a shadow of their former greatness.
The Muslim boasts that his people have always been a great and proud people, that at one time they ruled all of the known world, and that no force could keep them from attaining the glory they knew under the Prophet.
At this point, the Cowboy tips up his hat to look grimly at the Muslim and says, "Son, we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims, yet."
Then we'll have a bunch of tired, poor, huddled, teeming, wretched refuse that will do whatever we say for cheap. And they never call in sick.
All I see is hate and gimme, gimme, gimme!
That's been my point all along . There is a nasty arrogant attitude here , an entitlement they DEMAND. who the hell are they to demand ANYTHING of us ?
Here in Mpls. the Cathedral's Archbishop supported an illegal immigrant protest , I can't get over it, what is going on? I am Catholic and can't understand how the Archbishop could say support the documented and undocumented illegal immigrant.....everything about honesty is out the window, anyfeedback please. Ned Dougherty in his book, "Life in the Fast Lane" says that we will go bankrupt as a country, now I can see it.
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