Monday, May 01, 2006
Anarchists puzzle Chicago marchers

The march started out nice and easy from Union Park in Chicago, looking more like one of those mass fundraising walks than a political rally.

Spirited chants of "Si, se puede" -- loosely translated as "Yes, we can" -- swelled from the crowd now and again as various groups wearing similar T-shirts or hats walked together.

Among the many handmade signs and placards marchers carried:

"We also have a dream"

"Your homes need my work for more beautiful"

"Mexicans in Mexico should organize like Mexicans in US"

"Stop the Raids Now"

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you"

The smiling women of St. Patrick's Old Church handed out cups of water to the marchers.

Marching alongside women in head scarves, Rami Nashashibi, executive director of the Chicago-based Inner-city Muslim Action Network, said his group brought 40 members to "stand up for Latino brothers and sisters."

Workers from the Chicago Housing Authority watched the marchers go by from their office, with a sign saying "We Support You" hanging in their window.

Boyd Klingler, a financial services worker in a suit, watched the marchers from behind a police barricade. Asked what he thought, he gave a wry smile and said, "That there are a lot more Mexicans in Chicago than we thought."

At Lou Mitchell's, a longtime Chicago lunch spot, two regulars discussed the issues as the marchers walked by.

"People aren't doing what they should be doing," said Gary Williams, referring to a story he read about local police who knew illegal workers were in their town but did nothing.

"I see both sides," said Dennis Mogan, adding that there must be some sort of middle ground to solve the problem.

As marchers entered the Loop, a motley band of anarchists made a racket beating on street signs and bucket drums with their "No Borders" and "viva Anarchia" message. Most marchers didn't seem to know what to make of them and followed cautiously at a distance.
Posted By Liza Kaufman Hogan, Contributor: 5:33 PM ET
then wait your turn like I had to ...
Posted By Anonymous John .. Baltimore : 5:51 PM ET
Just because they took the day off doesn't mean they get to become citizens.

Greg Daulton, Sacramento CA
Posted By Anonymous Greg Daulton, Sacramento CA : 5:51 PM ET
"Anarchists" have been driving these portests for should watch Lou Dobbs, he could have told you that. Listen to him, he knows what he is talking about, one of the few on tv today...
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:53 PM ET
what is so radical about not respecting border lines? Seems to be common sense to me. NO BORDERS!
Posted By Anonymous graham, burlington VT : 5:53 PM ET
There's a whole lot of ignorance and fear fueling this debate.

These illegal immigrants will be used as pawns and objects by Anarchists, Latino 'leaders', Churches, Boycotters, AFL-CIOs,
Politicians, Minutemen, Neo-Nazis, Pundits, etc. etc. Even the regular Joes will put in their 2 cents with Anger, Compassion, Hatred, Frustration, Bewilderment, etc. etc.

There's a tragedy waiting to happen unless good, sensible people step up. Such is the greatness of America.
Posted By Anonymous Dean O. - Morton Grove, IL : 5:54 PM ET
I, and millions of others like me, are totally against illegal immigration. We are tired to subsidizing the health care, housing, food, education and other areas for people who are not even here legally. The drain they put on public resources ends up denying services to American citizens.
I am not opposed to legal immigration, but am totally opposed to illegals.
If we could convince our government to enforce existing laws against employers who knowingly break the law by hiring illegals -- and if we would stop providing all the free services, then illegals would go home and we would not have to worry about deporting. But first and foremost we must secure our borders. Without all of the above, we may as well give our country to Mexico. We are already half way there.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Whitehead, Elkins, WV : 5:54 PM ET
What will be left for the true Americans?
Posted By Anonymous Carol, Gilbert, SC : 5:55 PM ET
Wish you all Good Luck!!
Posted By Anonymous Santa Fe Springs, CA : 5:55 PM ET
I really don't see a problem with the US granting the so called "illegal immigrants" proper status in the US. Most of these people are not criminals, and are just in search of a better life for themselves and their families. These people comprise a huge backbone of the US economy, and the US wouldn't be where it is right now if these people did not fulfill their roles. Isn't home where the heart is?? If they feel "at home" in the US, and they're model citizns, then give them a break. Consider this before sending them "home".
Posted By Anonymous Andrew M., Vancouver, British Columbia : 5:55 PM ET
Then do it the right way, not the illegal way. You don't want to be a citizen, you want to work without paying taxes, beneifits, and waving the American Flag!!!!! If you want to be a true American, ACT IT!!!!!!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Susan beckers Orange, CA : 5:57 PM ET
What part of "illegal" is so hard to comprehend? I don't care if American companies want the cheap labor, illegal is ILLEGAL.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Atlanta, GA : 5:57 PM ET
I think these people have onened up a can of worms as far as their being here illegally. We need to wake up and prosecute these criminals just as any one else would who broke the law. Their are alot of people who immigrated here leagaly. Now that they have let us know who they are and who employs them INS needs to step in and round them up. Send Them back to where they came to file for LEGAL status.
Posted By Anonymous Gary Davis Big Bear City California : 5:58 PM ET
If they (the protesters) had put this much energy into fixing mexico's economic and social problems we would not be here today.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Aichner Mililani Hawaii : 5:58 PM ET
we all have right to live but time is dependet to god and location is dependent to politics!!!
Posted By Anonymous Arman, Iran : 6:02 PM ET
And the only real travesty here is that INS (oops sorry, now ICE) weren't there with a whole bunch of semi-trailers to round them up and ship them all back where they came from, since they were so nice as to all congregate in one place.

They broke the law. If someone breaks into my house, I have no obligation to let him stay, much less mooch off my food. Boot them back to their own countries.
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Houston, TX : 6:05 PM ET
Isn't this an amazing country that we allow people who are not citizens of this country to protest like they are citizens of this country.
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Chicago IL : 6:06 PM ET
A true American is an immigrant! America was started by immigrants, and is supported today by immigrants. You may have been born in America but your blood line isn't; unless you are native.
Posted By Anonymous Francois, Vancouver, British Columbia : 6:08 PM ET
I like that sign "Mexicans in Mexico should organize like Mexicans in US" because it captures a truth. The problem is not the United States, rather it is Mexico. If so many people with ambition leave Mexico for the easier (illegal) path to a better life, they will not BE in Mexico to help their countrymen change THEIR system to create opportunities in their homeland. These people are hard working, some are brilliant. We need to find a way to encourage them to go back and change Mexico from within. It will not be easy. Certainly not as simple as walking North and finding lucrative work. But in the long run, both Mexico and the United States will be better off.
Posted By Anonymous David, San Jose, CA : 6:09 PM ET
They have so much spirit for wanting a better life, then they can wait in line...

They should take that pride and take back their government and fix their problems, and not make america a 3rd world country.

Theres a reason why I now pay more in health insurance for my family then I do my Rent.
Posted By Anonymous TE Salt Lake City, UT : 6:12 PM ET
I have no problems with immigrants, afterall thats what this country is made of. Its the illegal part I'm totally againist. Let them apply for citizenship like all the others.
Posted By Anonymous Elaine Tampa Fl : 6:15 PM ET
You mean the Native Americans? Uh... Most of them were killed by European settlers. I would almost argue that Mexicans with Indian blood have more right to be in this Continent, because not only have they sacrafice their culture, lives, identity to build America, but they continue to face discrimination and hatred to do work not other Amrican wants to do.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Lenard, Reno, Nevada : 6:16 PM ET
You know why they want to come here? Because American corporations decimated their economy under NAFTA. This however does not make it legal for them to come here but it provides reason enough for America to deal with the problem thoughtfully and compromisingly.

By the way, someone said that they come here illegally and protest legally...actually, the bill of rights protects everyone within the borders, whether you are legal or not. See 9th Amendment
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Brooklyn, NY : 6:54 PM ET
Take your dream and go home. Protest and fight for your rights in your own country. Make it a better place for you and your families. It's not illegal for you to be in your own country.
Posted By Anonymous Christine, Phoenix, AZ : 6:58 PM ET
This is not a day without immigrants!

America still needs to provide law enforcement for the protests! Education and healthcare costs associated with ILLEGAL immigrants do not mysteriously disappear today. Erosion of wages for poor Americans will not be resolved by this 'day without immigrants'. These "costs" of illegal immigration are too numerous to mention and are unaffected by illegals 'taking the day off'.

Everyone needs to realize this protest is a farce. Secure our borders NOW before this invasion destroys our country!
Posted By Anonymous John Russo New Orleans LA : 7:03 PM ET
I have no respect for anyone that comes into this country illegally. Being a citizen of this country is a privalidge, not a prize for breaking our laws.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Le Maire Belvidere, Il : 7:04 PM ET
Why is it that so many people in this country have conveniently forgotten the difference between "immigrant" and "illegal immigrant"? I don't think many sane people in the US would argue that immigrants are unwanted. Most sane people, however, would have to admit that millions of illegals siphoning off tax dollars and making it harder for real citizens to get jobs and get paid fairly is a problem that needs to be addressed.

In fact, if I were a legal immigrant, having jumped through all the hoops necessary to gain entry to the US, I'd be pretty annoyed at the "cheaters" who are sneaking in without follwing the same rules that I'd followed.

To sum up... legal immigrants = Great. Illegal immigrants = Illegal. What's so hard about that?
Posted By Anonymous Dan - Chicago, IL : 7:05 PM ET
If immigrant labour is what US is looking for, why does Mexicans get the benefit. Just because they share the same border with US does not mean they are given a privilege to come to this country and ruin it.
If immigrant cheap labour is what US is looking for, lets bring boat loads of people from African countries.I am sure they will be more thankful to you and happy to work for free. Are we ready to accept them?
Posted By Anonymous Phil, San Francisco, CA : 7:05 PM ET
I don't mind the legal immigrants who come to this country in search of a better life for themselves and their families.

What I have a problem with is the people who sneak in, use our public services without having paid taxes, and expect to be taken care of by a country that they are not even a legal citizen of. And then they don't even want to learn English! I don't understand that at all. How can they expect to be successful if they don't learn English? If I emigrated to France, I wouldn't expect all my new French neighbors and my employer to speak English. I'd learn French and try to assimilate into French society.

But the real issue is why so many people are leaving Mexico and coming here. Like others have said, Mexicans need to mobilize in Mexico and make changes there, rather than coming here illegally.

I definitely think companies that use illegal immigrants should be penalized harshly because they are the main contributors to the problem. If they didn't hire illegals and pay them cash under the table, then the illegals wouldn't come here in the first place.
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, St. Louis, MO : 7:06 PM ET
Let me get this right. I break into your house, then say this is my house.
I add that you are welcome to stay(in your house). What a good deal for you. I let you STAY in your own home. THIS IS A JOKE. Come on people we need to make a stand.
Posted By Anonymous dan,kansas city,mo. : 7:08 PM ET
immigrants do not drain the system, they pay taxes and contribute to this country in many ways. Many Americans have no intrest in learning the real issues of immigrants. Unfortunately we have closed our minds and hearts to this people.
Posted By Anonymous Claudia S. Amarillo TX : 7:28 PM ET
It's laughable how "true" Americans speak about coming to this country "legally." Last time I checked this country was once inhabited by Native Americans before Europeans murdered an entire people. Most Americans should join the rally, you're here illegally too pilgrim.
Posted By Anonymous Lewis Stevenson, Salt Lake City, UT : 7:29 PM ET
There seem to be a little distortion as to who should be blame for illegal immigration. Immigrants can't be blame, because the US has advertice itself at the great nation of milk and honey. So there is a natural attraction.
The thing that gets me is that there are another million or so that have pay their dues to come into this country legally but yet I have not seen any one of them complaining about the illigality of the others that jump accross with out regard.
What do we have to say about that?
Posted By Anonymous Juan, San Diego, Ca : 7:31 PM ET
"there are a lot more Mexicans in Chicago than we thought."

Before the protests, there was little understanding about the number of illegals in the country. Not many "legals" cared, or saw it as a problem. It was pretty clear that lawmakers were not going to spend money to reduce the number. As the protests grow in number and size, so will the call to fix the problem grow. Lawmakers may now feel that they can and must vote to "fix" the problem. I do not understand what the protesters hope to accomplish.
Posted By Anonymous David, Houston, Texas : 8:00 PM ET
I want to answer two myths about illegal immigration:
1) illegal immigrants don't pay taxes. Here in America even illegal immigrants pay taxes, as a matter of fact if you get paid with a check, your employer will always take your taxes out of your paycheck. I know this well, because I'm an illegal immigrant and last year I worked two jobs, 7 days a week and in both jobs I pay taxes, more than 5000 dollars total, and as an illegal I will never see any benefit for that money, the money I pay for retirement will benefit somebody else. Just ask the IRS how many billions dollars we pay every year, they know that, because the numbers we use are fake or ITIN numbers. There you go, americans despise me, but when I pay for their retirement they take my money no problem.
2) All immigrants are unskilled and drive salarys down. I came three years ago as an unskilled worker but know I'm learning a trade in construction and in three more years I will be licensed and making an average of 25 per hour. Is not my fault if some americans are school dropouts and don't want to work as hard as I do to improve themselves. I guess thats because they have better things to do with their time.
Posted By Anonymous Javier, Baltimore, MD : 8:56 PM ET
For all those suggesting they have no problem with "legal" immigration, just "illegal" immigration. Do you know what the visa bulletin is? Have you educated yourself about how neglected and broken our current immigration system is? For pete's sake, legal doesn't mean sensible or moral. And if it's not those two things, why would anyone advocate stronger enforcement?
Posted By Anonymous Stacy Bradbury, Lynn MA : 9:09 PM ET
I believe our social infrastructure for public services will have to be stressed to the extreme before the gutless politicians (both parties)take even minimal corrective action
Posted By Anonymous george morris , springfield,ILL : 9:13 PM ET
I keep hearing "we love it here!" "we want a better life!" from illegal immigrants. Of course you do! No need to worry about medical insurance - we'll pay your way ! No need to get car insurance - we'll pay your way! No need to pay taxes - we'll pay your way! No need to follow the rules - of course you love it here !
Posted By Anonymous Tina - Chicago IL : 9:17 PM ET
I'm a bit confused about the concept of a "guest worker" program. If the (currently illegal) immigrants are given guest worker status, they will have the right to demand the better wages that are paid to citizens or legal immigrants. Won't that result in the need for more illegal immigrants to do the "kinds of low-wage jobs that Americans don't want to do"?
Posted By Anonymous Lorraine, Hartford, CT : 9:17 PM ET
To all those who are against illegal immigration, will you pay higher taxes so your trash will be picked up by legal workers? Will you pay more at the grocery store? Will you pay more for your construction and landscaping? Will you sell your stock in companies that hire undocumented janitors, cashiers, salespeople? We are hypocrites for reaping the profits (on a personal and societal level) of illegal labor, and then claiming that said illegal laborers are a "drain" on our economy and public welfare system.

In short, you have to ante up if you want to play. Consumers and investors are just as guilty of breaking the law (and reaping the benefits) as anybody else.

Any real solution will cost consumers and investors. That means you and I have to be willing to pay the price, and experience tells me that we prefer to complain rather than pay to solve problems, so I'm not optimistic.

I'm not FOR illegal immigration, I'm FOR sensible immigration policy. Until law and policy catch up with reality, people (ESPECIALLY Americans) will find a way to "make things work", by legal means or otherwise. And they will be rewarded by consumers and by Wall Street. Sad but true.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Denver, CO : 2:17 AM ET
First of all if our government decides to grant amnesty to these illegal immigrants who is going to foot the bill to process the millions of illegal immigrants? Our government should be ashamed of these illegals marching in our country demanding that we allow them to stay because they are allegedly doing work no american citizen would do. false! We dont need illegal immigrants,they need us! secondly,pay attention when a criminal enters a country illegally he or she has no other choice but to do the type of work the citizens of that country would not do! thirdly, if we allow these immigrants who are here illegally to receive free citizenship, could you imagine the rest of the world coming to america seeking the same benefits.
Posted By Anonymous Jeanice, Miami,Florida : 2:39 AM ET
All this crap about legal and illegal. There are millions of people breaking the law every day on their way to work. Rosa parks broke the law. If everyone obeyed the law we'd still be british. To punish people because they want to make a better life for themselves is not just immoral, it's evil.
Posted By Anonymous Dan Pellerin, Marlborough Ma. : 2:53 AM ET
I grew up on the Canadian / U.S. border and spent alot of time in States growing up. I am now a resident alien of the U.S.,with a Canadian Passport. There are rules for everyone wishing enter and reside in the U.S. Abide by them, plain and simple. In my opinion, both countries are great and home to me. Illegal entry is not an option and definitely not a right of a non-citizen. There are ways and means to live where ever you want to on this planet (in most cases). Go through the process, I did, it actually works !
Posted By Anonymous Gregg Krahulec, Winter Park, Colorado : 5:11 AM ET
The results of having no borders would be an absolute social, economic, and health care catostrophe. Those with these ideas should be considered terrorists.
Posted By Anonymous Terence Santa Fe, NM : 7:02 PM ET
Simple question...Where and how does it end...Open the borders forever and for everyone??? Maybe I should move to Tijuana and mow lawns...Turnabout, fair?
Posted By Anonymous DR, Tampa,Fl : 11:53 PM ET
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