Immigrants to March on Washington, Demanding Legal Status
Here we go again. On April 10, thousands of illegal immigrants and their lobbyists will gather on the National Mall to support an immigration reform bill that the Senate is expected to introduce this month.
Every time Congress debates immigration, large crowds gather in various major cities nationwide. Through their sheer numbers, they hope to persuade legislators that they deserve to live legally in the United States.
The mass protest strategy is at least a decade old and has consistently failed. In 2003, the Immigration Freedom Bus Ride began its voyage from downtown Los Angeles and 17 other big cities to descend on Washington to demand legal status. The organizers outrageously drew comparisons to the original 1961 Freedom Ride when African-Americans and their white allies rode to the South to challenge segregation. During the last decade, other high visibility illegal immigrant demonstrations have occurred in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
The game plan is ill conceived. Aliens have an audience much larger than the Senate and the House of Representatives. During the 2006 and 2007 amnesty pushes, when Americans turned on their evening news and saw aliens demanding permanent legal residency, citizens’ phone calls and faxes flooded Congress’ offices.
Although many claim that public attitudes toward immigration reform have improved during the seven years since the George W. Bush era amnesties, the truth is different. The public doesn’t believe any immigration enforcement promise that Congress makes. As a matter of fact, Americans don’t trust Congress on any issue; hence, it’s 14 percent approval rating.
Take, as an example, the current immigration deal under consideration and for which enforcement is allegedly the key. Four Senators from the Gang of Eight-Mike Bennet (D-CO), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ)-spent part of their congressional spring break touring the border. While there, McCain tweeted that he saw a woman scale the fence in full view. Nevertheless, Schumer reiterated what Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano lied about earlier this year, that the border is secure and comprehensive immigration reform can go forward without further delay. Schumer added that a porous border is less important that getting 11 million aliens “out of the shadows.”
To be clear: Schumer is eye-witness to an illegal border crosser, then declares the border secure and announces that Congress has to go full bore to get aliens “out of the shadows,” the same aliens who will descend on Capitol Hill in broad daylight in two weeks.
According to rumors, the Gang of Eight reached a tentative agreement this weekend that will, among other things, create about 20,000 new visas for low-skilled labor. For poor, unemployed Americans who would willingly take a custodial or hospitality job, the new “W” visa will make their search much harder.
But few in powerful positions in business or politics care about struggling Americans. The Gang of Eight and the White House’s goal is to provide as much cheap labor as possible for their corporate donors.
The February U-6 unemployment rate is 14.3; 22 million Americans are unemployed or under-employed. Yet Congress and President Obama, who campaigned on job creation, are determined to ram through an immigration bill that would have dire consequences for the most vulnerable Americans.
The surprise isn’t that Congress’s 14 percent approval rating is so low. The shocker is that, in light of Congress’ defiant persistence on immigration, it’s so high.