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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Anti-Legal Immigration Protests Abound

And you thought the Tea Party protests were big? They were nothing compared to what took place today.

The Associated Press told of stories across the nation, but one in particular focused on the protests against Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law. According to the report, close to 50,000 people showed up and were exceptionally vocal and angry about what transpired in Arizona.

From the AP story:
Organizers estimated about 20,000 gathered at a park on Chicago's West Side and marched, but police said about 8,000 turned out.
The event resembled something between a family festival - food vendors strolled through with pushcarts - and a political demonstration with protesters chanting "Si se puede," Spanish for "Yes we can." A group of undocumented students stood on a stage at the Chicago park and "came out" regarding their immigration status.
Juan Baca was among those students. Baca, 19, whose parents brought him from Mexico illegally when he was 4 months old, said he has had to drop out of college and work several times already because he can't qualify for financial aid.
"It's been a struggle," he said. "I missed the mark by four months."
Astounding.  First, the student was angry because "he didn't qualify for financial aid," then he has the audacity to say he "missed the mark" by four months.  Not exactly sure what he means but the AP story makes it seem as though the illegal student believes he would be entitled to a free ride were he born here.

These protests were significant - seeing 50,000 in Los Angeles alone.  There were approximately 5,000 at the Tea Party rally in Oklahoma City, and based on what we're hearing, it was a drop in the bucket compared to protests today across the nation against the new Arizona law that actually does what the federal government has failed to do.

I remember during the Istook/Henry gubernatorial race in 2006 when immigration was former Congressman Ernest Istook's centerpiece.  It made many of us cringe because we knew what Henry's response would be:  That Istook spent 14 years in Congress and did nothing about it.  Four years later, the federal government has sat idly by while the important issue of immigration reform looms large.

Recently, a Democratic operative said to me that one of the reasons the GOP has refused to touch this very sensitive issue on a federal level is because "they don't want to lose the Hispanic vote."  Balderdash.  They've refused to do anything about the issue of illegal immigration because they don't want to lose campaign contributions from companies who employ illegal immigrants - or contributions from companies whose subcontractors employ illegal immigrants.

That is the sad truth, my friends.

We need candidates for Congress, for the State Legislature who will speak the truth about this issue - that the system is broken and yes, it needs reform.  We need men and women who are willing to just tell it like it is and present solutions that offer those who want to come here and work legally, the opportunity to do so and to do something serious about those who are here and who come here illegally. 

There is a reason it is called ILLEGAL immigration.  It just might be that it is, well, illegal.