Monday, May 01, 2006
All quiet in the nation's capital
The Mall in Washington, D.C., has been site of many memorable, massive protests, with demonstrators making their points heard in view of Capitol Hill.

Just not today.

By the middle of the day, a few dozen pro-immigrant AFL-CIO-affiliated protesters from Wayne County, North Carolina, and a handful of others reading from the Bible were on the Capitol lawn.

Local labor and other civic leaders made a conscious decision not to act -- for now, at least -- even as elsewhere crowds marked "A Day Without Immigrants." As with much in Washington, politics played a prominent role.

"The ball is now in the Senate's court -- they deserve time to address the issue," said Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigration Coalition, which organized an earlier protest. "We're trying to hold back. There are other things we can do."

While speaking 142 languages, Washington's immigrant population isn't as established as those in cities like Los Angeles and New York. But it's growing rapidly in size (from 400,000 in 1990 to over 1 million) and stature, according to Gustavo Torres, head of CASA de Maryland, a non-profit group that offers services to area day laborers.

Protests by immigrants may yet return to the streets of the nation's capital at some future time. But for today, apart from smaller gatherings around the region, such as at Washington, D.C.'s Malcolm X Park, big protests are the province of other cities.
Posted By Greg Botelho, CNN Washington Bureau: 4:12 PM ET
  8 Comments
This is not a protest, boycott, immigrants rights march, foreign flag waving, Spanish anthem singing, a day without immigrants rally!

Sad to say but this is really a rally attended by real people scared out of their wits and now being shepherded by 'leaders' for their own political ends.

Tragedy is awaiting these naive undocumented immigrants who will continue to be used and abused by people they have come to trust.
Posted By Anonymous Troy M. - Chicago, IL : 5:06 PM ET
I believe that all illegal immigrants should be sent home. I am astounded that the immigrants have the gall to protest what is not their right to protest.These people have broken our laws and are now protesting the right of this country to send them back.
Posted By Anonymous Rita Hammomton,N.J. : 5:15 PM ET
Yet so many households and businesses continue to break laws hiring them for cheap, expendable labor. Who cares what happens to the them, we have all benefitted financially from them to care.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Houston, TX : 5:54 PM ET
People who think this issue isn't about race are lying to themselves. If illegals spoke perfect English, blended seamlessly into the society and did not congregate in neighborhoods visibly different from White Suburbia, who would care? It's all about White Fright for some people.

If this were about the economy, why are people getting so hysterical about a Spanish language version of the national anthem? If this is about national security, why aren't the 'minutemen' (*gag*) at the ports inspecting cargo containers?
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 5:59 PM ET
I'm simpathetic to the immigrants position. But, I would like to be heard as well. This blog is the only voice I have. If you want to work in this country and be a part of this country, than do so, don't walk against the grain. Be a model citizen and earn compassion from others. I believe this protest divides us.
Posted By Anonymous susan, Los Angeles Ca : 6:58 PM ET
Illegals? Read the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, look at the history of California,Texas,Nevada, Arizona, Colorado,Oregon. Mexican have a right to be in these lands just like anyone else.
They lived and shared the land amongs each other for years, until Polk came and fabricated a war, so that American could come and "squat" on their lands and kick them out. That sounds pretty illegal to me!!!!
Posted By Anonymous saul, riverside, ca : 5:18 AM ET
This has nothing to do with race. It is a matter of justice and not spitting in the face of those who have gone through the proper channels to come into this country. Just because the bank manager leaves the vault open doesn't mean it's not wrong to take the money. Illegal is illegal, drop the racism and pathetic emotional pandering, it's all about the law.
Posted By Anonymous Blaise Hartman, Travelers Rest, SC : 9:50 AM ET
I think that everyone has a right to good opportunities. I do think that you should abide by the laws in every country. If you are an illegal immigrant and you know this , then you should do the right thing and not set a bad example for others to follow.
If you want to be in AMERICA; we welcome you by entering legally to make it fair for everyone. You should act and treat others how you would want to be treated in your home..If you want to call AMERICA someday your home; than respect the ones who legally live there. Good things come to people who choose to do the right thing.
Posted By Anonymous Jared, Los Angeles California : 2:54 PM ET
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