Monday, April 30, 2007

Tomorrow's Immigration Rally

Tens and thousands of Latinos and other immigrants are expected to march in the immigration rally tomorrow in downtown Chicago. Tomorrow’s new rally is going to be similar to the one that was held a year ago, supporting more lenient treatment of illegal immigrants and asking Federal lawmakers to put a moratorium on deportations. People from all races and ethnicities are expected to participate in the immigration rally, the program will feature various speeches and other planned activities. Rallies are also planned in other major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Dallas and Miami. Unlike last year, where many immigrants were given a day off by the businesses that they worked for to participate in the rally, this year the work stoppage is likely to be lighter.

Past weekend, marchers on the Southwest side stopped at congressman Lipinski’s office and left photos of their relatives in his office window. Residents in the south west side say that congressman Lipinski is unresponsive to the immigrant issue. Unfortunately, Lipinski’s congressional district is home to many Latino, Arab and Polish immigrants.

Last Tuesday, an incident occurred in little Village, which caused quiet a stir in the Latino community. FBI and immigration officers raided little village shopping mall looking to arrest people involved in selling illegal immigration documents. More than one hundred people were arrested. In addition, by standers recall that other innocent people that had nothing to do with counterfeiting were also arrested. Witnesses said that the officials brought machine guns and shotguns with them. This event caused anger and frustration in the Little Village community. Following the raid, many residents flooded the 26th Street holding up signs like “no one is illegal”. People from the Latino community opposed the strong show of force by the federal officials and now they have been prompted to get more involved in tomorrow’s rally. Nevertheless, many immigration activists believe that last Tuesday’s raid may have been to intimidate people from participating in tomorrow’s rally.

Sadly, not much has changed with immigration law since last year and opponents are planning to keep it that way. Some organizers expect a lower turnout than last year. In fact, there has been mixed views regarding the turnout issue tomorrow. Many organizers say that they cannot tell people to miss a day of work because it might cost them their jobs. Other people disagree and say that a boycott is a way to show that immigrants have a big hand in the America’s economic growth. Many immigrants are somewhat disappointed because they feel as they became so involved last year and nothing happened. Tomorrow’s rally’s turnout will demonstrate if the immigrant community is still strongly united or has been divided since last year.


Post a Comment

<< Home