May 1, 2006 Action

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05–01-06_1552.jpg,
orig­i­nal­ly uploaded by mon­de­li­cious.

It was my priv­i­lege to march with 8000 to 10,000 peo­ple (The Los Ange­les Times web­site reports 10,000 to 15,000) in a pro-immi­grant ral­ly in San­ta Ana. Small­er in scale than the mas­sive ral­lies in Los Ange­les and oth­er cities, but still inspir­ing.

A quick glance at the online cov­er­age of the event reveals that there were about 60 counter pro­test­ers, but I did not encounter any.

Dubbed The Great Amer­i­can Boy­cott 2006, or A Day With­out an Immi­grant, this call to action is hoped to spread aware­ness of, and to protest against, recent immi­gra­tion law reforms. Peo­ple were encour­aged to stay home from work or school, and to refrain from buy­ing or sell­ing any­thing today in order to demon­strate the sig­nif­i­cant eco­nom­ic con­tri­bu­tions of immi­grants in this coun­try.

The cat­a­lyst for the wave of immi­gra­tion pol­i­cy protests is The Bor­der Pro­tec­tion, Antiter­ror­ism, and Ille­gal Immi­gra­tion Con­trol Act of 2005, aka H.R. 4437 (wiki). The result of this bill would be the cre­ation of mil­lions of felons and increased spend­ing on bor­der pro­tec­tion, in the form of 700 miles of fence. As Bill Hing of UC Davis School of Law points out in his arti­cle, The Moral Choice in Immi­gra­tion Pol­i­cy, fences and the increas­ing mil­i­ta­riza­tion of the bor­der have not been effec­tive deter­rents to ille­gal immi­gra­tion.

I am not sure that I can real­ly claim that blan­ket amnesty would be a wise idea, but I am deeply trou­bled by the bill as it stands and I do not believe that it will make any of us safer.

More info about the bill can be found here.

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