The Pro-Illegal Immigration Rallies

As most of you are no doubt aware, there were multiple pro-illegal immigration rallies this week-end, the biggest of which was in Los Angeles. Here’s part of the AP report on the LA Rally:

More than 500,000 immigration rights advocates marched in downtown Los Angeles yesterday, demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make helping illegal immigrants a crime and to build more walls along the border.

The massive demonstration, one of a half dozen around the nation in recent days, came as President Bush prodded Republican congressional leaders to give some illegal immigrants a chance to work legally in the United States under certain conditions.

Yesterday’s march in Los Angeles was the largest in a series of demonstrations across the country. Police Commander Louis Gray Jr. said officers in helicopters estimated the crowd.

Many of the marchers yesterday wore white shirts to symbolize peace and also waved US flags. Some also carried the flags of Mexico and other countries, and even wore them as capes. A sign carried by one demonstrator read: ”Illegal immigrants are welcome to go to war, but why can’t we have a job, home, or license?”

Elger Aloy, 26, of Riverside, a premed student, pushed his 8-month-old son in a stroller in yesterday’s march. ”I think it’s just inhumane. . . . Everybody deserves the right to a better life,” Aloy said of the legislation.

…”They say we are criminals. We are not criminals,” said Salvador Hernandez, 43, of Los Angeles, who came to the United States illegally from El Salvador 14 years ago and worked as truck driver, painter, and day laborer.

In Denver, police said more than 50,000 people gathered at Civic Center Park next to the Capitol to urge the state Senate to reject a resolution supporting a ballot issue that would deny many government services to illegal immigrants in Colorado.

On Friday, thousands of people joined in rallies in cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Atlanta, staging school walkouts, marches, and work stoppages. The Los Angeles demonstration led to fights between black and Hispanic students at one high school, but the protests were largely peaceful, authorities said.”

Here are some more details from Mickey Kaus,/ who covered the rally:

Crowd size: Big! Bigger than a couple of football games–I’d say 200,000 plus. ***

Demeanor: Pleasant!

Makeup: 99 percent Latino (an oversimplification–I saw one T-shirt saying “I’m Mexican, not Latino”)

Most telling placard slogan: “Somos illegales, no criminales!”

Flags: Evenly split between Mexican and U.S., with El Salvadoran running a very distant (1%) third. And there were lots of flags. If you said “Mexican flag” every time you saw a Mexican flag, you never stopped talking.

You have to wonder what percentage of the protesters was made up of illegal aliens. Certainly, it must have been significant. You’ve even got illegals carrying signs identifying themselves as illegals (“Illegal immigrants are welcome to go to war, but why can’t we have a job, home, or license?”).

Question: Doesn’t this tell you a lot about how lax enforcement of immigration laws in this country have gotten? Certainly, you don’t see burglars or arsonists turning up by the tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands to rally against tougher sentences, do you?

Another Question: How did we get to the point where we have people who aren’t even in this country legally, walking around in broad daylight, waving Mexican flags, and demanding that our government cater to them?

Still Another Question: Why wasn’t Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the scene checking green cards?

A Question That May, In A Roundabout Way, Explain The Answer To The Last Question: “So, if we toughen up enforcement, will they start burning cars?” — From Mark Krikorian at the Corner

Here’s the situation in a nutshell: we have illegal aliens, the businesses that hire them, immigrants whose first loyalty seems to be to Mexico, and the democrats who want to turn the illegals into citizens to get more votes — being given preference over a much larger group of law abiding Americans who believe, correctly, that we need to secure our borders and that we should not reward people for breaking our laws.

Unfortunately, a lot of Republican Senators want to placate the first group — and they’re making a huge mistake. If Republicans allow illegals to become citizens, it will cost them the Senate. If they come up with some sort of guest worker program that rewards illegals, not only will the problem get worse, because we’ll likely end up with illegals AND guest workers pouring in, this issue will not die politically. The fight will only get nastier and will continue to drag on.

There’s one way out of this mess: it’s to do the right thing and treat our immigration laws like they mean something.

Secure the border, crack down on businesses that hire illegals, cut off government services to “undocumented workers,” and refuse to allow people who entered this country illegally to benefit in any way from their criminal behavior. If we do have a guest worker program, it needs to be made up of honest people who followed the rules and didn’t steal into our country like thieves in the night, instead of rewarding illegals with amnesty.

If these Republicans on the Hill just set their petty political concerns aside and do the right thing, guess what? Long term, they’ll find out that good governance is good politics, just like it was with welfare reform. On the other hand, if they cave and do the wrong thing, just because they think it’ll give them a temporary political advantage, it’ll come back to bite them just like the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. Good policy on illegal immigration will turn out to be good politics as well.

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