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.