Demonstrators at a march for immigration reform in Washington in April of 2006.
Beyond Borders, Dispatches, United States

Immigration Reform Advocates Head to Rally in Washington on Sunday

March 19, 2010 By Alison Bowen
Demonstrators at a march for immigration reform in Washington in April of 2006.

Demonstrators at a march for immigration reform in Washington in April of 2006.

NEW YORK — Starting at 6 a.m. Sunday, 2,100 immigrants will hop in buses on Roosevelt Avenue in Elmhurst, Queens, and travel to Washington, D.C., with hopes of getting President Barack Obama’s attention.

Organizers of the March for America, led by the Campaign to Reform Immigration for America, are expecting 100,000 people on the National Mall.

For weeks, New York City groups have been recruiting resources for buses, gas and food to send their members to the nation’s capital.

In Queens, Make the Road will send 2,100 members in 40 buses, said Daniel Coates, who works on the group’s Civil Rights and Immigrant Power Project.

In his office Tuesday, preparing for the Queens group’s last meeting before the trip, he said advocates want Obama to fulfill his campaign promise of immigration reform. “We got a promise, and we want to see something,” he said.

On Friday, Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham published an op-ed in the Washington Post offering a four-pronged plan for immigration reform. Among their proposals: giving out biometric Social Security cards, strengthening border security and finding a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. They also suggested attracting skilled immigrants, who have PhD and master’s degrees, with green cards. The two legislators met with Obama last week, a first step toward satisfying calls for comprehensive reform.

Make the Road’s Queens office hummed with activity as workers secured buses and gave out instructions. Romulo López, a retired maintenance worker, was helping cook a vat of arroz con pollo for everyone’s Tuesday night dinner. He arrived from Ecuador legally in 1970, he said, but will march Sunday in support of his undocumented friends.

Coates said activists want reform, but they’re also marching for more jobs. Their largest sign reads, “Change Takes Courage,” the motto of this year’s march.

Martha Chavez, coordinator of advocacy and organizing for the New Immigrant Community Empowerment, said 140 people will leave their offices in Jackson Heights for the capital.

Norman Eng, spokesman for the New York Immigration Coalition, said their coalition has organized 230 buses from New York, exceeding their hopes for 10,000 New Yorkers.

The Coalition hosted a rally on the steps of City Hall March 9, where executive director Chung-Wha Hong chastised the Obama administration for increasing deportations and postponing immigration reform.

They hope to get his attention Sunday.

Obama will be in town. Yesterday, he announced he’s postponing a planned trip to Guam, Indonesia and Australia to stay and shepherd through the health care bill.

Image: Ouij @ Flickr.

About Alison Bowen

Alison is a Missouri native and New York City freelance writer who has wanted to cover Latin America since studying Spanish in Central America. After moving to Brooklyn, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily News, the Manhattan Times and Women’s eNews. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University. Her thesis focused on immigration policies after September 11, including counterterrorism measures, and their effects on the daily lives of immigrants in New York City.


magyart says:

Illegal residents don’t admit they have ignored the legal pathway that has been established for them. They don’t deserve amnesty.

The CIR ASAP bill, “as written” would grant amnesty and bring even MORE foreign workers into the country.

I seriously doubt a national, biometric ID card will be welcomed by very many Americans. We don’t need another ID.

Stories earlier in the week spoke of 100,000 protesters. Now, I’m reading a few buses from OH, FL, MA, and so on. If anyone gives an estimate, it’s now lower, tens of thousands.

Congress and the WH will be busy with health care. They don’t want bothered, this weekend, with immigration reform.

There’s even an anti-war protest scheduled for Sun. So, these three events will compete for media attention.

I estimate about half the country wants health care reform. It’s been an uphill fight and it’s going down to the wire.

I doubt that 25% of Americans support immigration reform. Especially, in this depressed economy.

Illegal residents did break the law. However, most of them are not violent criminals. I’m fearful of the violent ones. You would think we could prevent them from coming into the country, but we can’t.

We need comprehensive immigration enforcement.

fretsward says:

They are not “undocumented.” They are “illegal aliens.” They are not supposed to be here. Period. Every American is a hard worker. Thanks to the invader, wages are depressed to third world levels.
Americans of all races have expressed their disapproval for the upcoming scam-Amnesty pushed by the racist Illinois Congressman and Mexican loyalist, Luis Gutierrez. After all, Democrats have to pay the Hispanic community back for allowing illegal immigrants to vote in our elections (an offense that would get you a prison sentence in Mexico).

Why is it that the children of illegal aliens are granted the same rights and privileges as the descendants of slaves for whom the Fourteenth Amendment was written into the Constitution? Why should Black American children have to compete with millions of illegal alien children for seats in schools, quality attention from educators, diminishing social services and ever-distant opportunities? Why is the proud refrain, “We Shall Overcome” now muffled by the clamor of “We Will Overwhelm and Take Your Country?” If you seek answers, just look to the “real racist” groups like The National Council of La Raza (The Race), MeCHA, LULAC, and a terrorist group called the “Mexica Movement.” Their official platform says:

“We totally reject all illegal European Colonial Squatter Occupation Borders on our continent. We also reject Colonialism’s right to keep stealing the wealth of our lands. And we reject their artificial divisions of our people!” This is a group that thinks America is their property, and anyone who doesn’t fit their description should leave the country. What it also means is this is a hateful, racist and terrorist group, and it should be denounced. Of course, we will be called racist. What Americans are fed up with are the millions and millions of people who come here and do not want to assimilate or learn the language. People who send their earnings “home” to another country. People who are turning 2 bedroom apartments and single family homes into illegal camps housing up to 100. People who are stealing I.Ds and Social Security numbers from American taxpayers. People who are turning entire neighborhoods and city sections into Tijuana’s, where half the store signs advertise “llanteras usadas.” People who are killing American citizens at the rate of 27 per day through murder, drunk driving, etc. People who expect and demand their kids to be taught in Spanish, and don’t care what we Americans think. People who since 2000 have desecrated our National border parks with 25 million tons of trash.

People who drive illegally without auto insurance or set enough aside to cover their liabilities. People who use our expensive hospital emergency rooms as their cold and sniffle clinics. The real complaint here is that those “lazy Americans” who still try to “follow the rules” find themselves increasingly squeezed and taxed, fingerprinted and regulated and licensed and strip-searched, while the illegals thumb their noses, disregard our wishes, and give the finger to our laws.

Why would they want “reform” of a law they’ve shown no intention of obeying? What they really want is “belly up immigration surrender” – free instant citizenship rights to all government welfare benefits for any of their people who can get here. Why is it dangerous that we can’t discuss these things frankly in the open, without crippling euphemisms that disguise what this is really about?

We’ve all seen the news coverage with millions of illegal aliens waving Mexican flags in our streets demanding to be awarded citizenship.

They call it “Reconquista.” The sleeping giant is starting to rise from its decade’s old slumber.

They are artificially encouraged by tens of millions of their illegal illegitimate brethren that victory is within reach. The coming conflict with these parasites in parasite’s clothing will end with the American citizens authorizing a mass banishment that will make President Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” puny in comparison.

The illegal alien network support system and Mexican government will counter with “you can’t possibly deport 12 million people. Yes we can deport 30 million people. I suppose the counter stopped in the 1990s when we first heard the 12 million figure. There will a national movement. Legislators and Lawmakers will be forced to write new restrictions. To be an illegal alien in the United States will become difficult. People will self-deport. Those who don’t will be arrested, and imprisoned.
The national bleeding will then stop. I will no longer have to press 1 for my own language.

Enough is enough. Americans have had Healthcare forced down their throats. We will never accept being forced to take care of those who have no intent whatsoever of becoming citizens, or taking part in the American Dream. They will always remain loyal to Mexico. They are here for the goodies only.

With neighbors like these, who needs enemies. When the American male finally marches, all parasites will regret breaking our laws and demanding we take care of them…

Comments are closed.