Monday, May 01, 2006
Chinatown workers ignoring immigration protest
As his employees stir giant vats of dough, Richard Eng, manager of the Canton Noodle Corporation, tells me that he and his employees are too busy to step out and join the human chain planned down the block just after noon today.

"We have too many noodle orders," he says. This company on Mott Street in New York City supplies lo mein and wontons to local restaurants -- all of which are open today.

Across the street at the Grand Harmony Restaurant, the geese and duck are roasting. It's business as usual, with management expecting a large lunchtime and dinner crowd.

Of the several dozen people I've spoken to on the street today, none of them are boycotting work. Many people are simply unaware of the demonstrations planned as part of "A Day Without Immigrants."

Organizers say they're expecting between 600 and 700 people to link up as part of the human chain that is to span down New York's Canal Street and East Broadway. El Diario, the city's top Spanish newspaper, has a front page that is half-blank, in order to symbolize the day without immigrants.

This day may be a significant event in the Latino community, but here in Chinatown, where nearly everyone is either an immigrant or a child or grandchild of an immigrant, it is business as usual.
Posted By Allan Chernoff, CNN Correspondent: 11:46 AM ET
  37 Comments
Dear Imyee !


I am from India. I came here 7 years ago on H1B visa. I worked hard for my GC. It cost me $40,000.00 taxes for 5 years. for GC. So what about this rallies of illegal Immigrants. They get fruit of tray without helping and controbuting to the society and government. This people worked undertable and saved money. Every country see what benefits they get from a person when they grant them status to become legal. And i have to pay more taxes and scrifice to get citizenship. Who is benefited. People like us who woked hard and paid our taxes regularly and contributed for development. This people will be benefited well. Who has not paid the taxes and not contributed. After few years we can see same rallies nationwide and protests. When the new Illegals enter here. Again there will be reforms and change of governments. Where are the benefits for aliens those who worked legally and sacrificed and contributed for society and development. Where is the justice for people like me.

Moses.
Posted By Anonymous moses, hollywood, florida : 12:43 PM ET
The Chinese are most likely one of many other immigrant groups who have arrived here through the proper channels and are legal citizens. Why should they protest?
Posted By Anonymous Quester, Seattle, WA : 12:48 PM ET
Of course Asians in Chinatown are not participating in the rallies, school and work are very important in their culture, Americans could probably learn from it.
Posted By Anonymous Katie Dallas, Texas : 12:50 PM ET
Not a big surprise that not too many folks working in Chinatowns all across this nation are interested in a rally to protest Big Government's laws. They just wanna work and get paid and take care of their family. Politics is not their thing, and I can't blame them for not getting into a protest that really adds nothing new to the immigration issue.
Posted By Anonymous Pete Wong, Phila., PA : 12:50 PM ET
The reason being an illegal immigrant is to work and have a better life in USA. And as a illegal immigrant, they should realize that they have no rights to claim for anything, unless they are legal.
Posted By Anonymous Regina, Boston, MA : 12:55 PM ET
I felt much compassion for Illegal immigrants until they started demanding their ?rights?
Posted By Anonymous Pat. Charlotte, NC : 12:55 PM ET
This only shows how hard-working and grateful chinese-americans are. I attended school with many Asian-Americans and even was engaged to one. I've never met an Asian-American who has ever complained about working tough jobs or long hours, or who has ever accepted government hand-outs. They have too much pride and can-do spirit. They are the kind of immigrants I welcome.
Posted By Anonymous catherine, Covington, LA. : 12:56 PM ET
Is the immigrant population missing the point? Normal immigration good..illegal immigration bad. Is it too much to ask that those wishing to come to America abide by our laws and pay their share of taxes? My parents are immigrants and they earned their citizenship..I expect nothing less of all others....legal immigrants need to stop protesting a move to increase the value of their PRIVILEGE..its ridiculous.
Posted By Anonymous Shawn, Nashville, TN : 12:56 PM ET
Frankly, I think immigrants, no matter where they come from, should demonstrate in their own countries for better conditions from their own governments. Imagine if thousands of Americans were demonstrating in Mexico City for the Mexican government to make their laws suit Americans living in their country. They'd be shot or hosed down, or thrown in some horrible Mexican jail. No other country in the world besides us, except maybe England, would be so docile in the face of foreigners demanding rights in another's country. We cannot support the entire third world, and we can't take in the teeming masses anymore. They're far too teeming now. Our borders should be open in only one direction now----OUT.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, Kansas City, Mo. : 12:56 PM ET
This is not about immigration, it's about illegal Mexican in America. We Chinese don't care.

I'm a immigrant. My family and I follows the U.S. law and apply to enter this country legally. Now I'm a legal citizen.

I believe if we pass the law to accept illegal Immigrants, we're telling people it's OK to break the law of the land if there's a lot of people doing the same thing. This makes might (volume of people) equal right.
Posted By Anonymous William Lai Chicago, IL : 1:03 PM ET
I think people are forgetting that this protest is about "ILLEGAL" immigrants. Many immgrants (including my family and my wife) who have payed their taxes and went through all the red tape to live here don't empathize with them at all.

So ... another reminder ... this is about ILLEGAL immigrants.
Posted By Anonymous Jack Hernandez, Columbia, Md. : 1:03 PM ET
There are hundreds of thousands of people working in this country legally on work visas. These people have waited 5 or more years to someday get a Green Card. The reason for the wait is partially caused by the last round of legalizing the illegals.

How is it these illegal immigrants claim they are not criminals or that they have not done anything wrong. How do they get the gull to demand anything? There is a legal channel to 'immigrate' into this country and people should not be rewarded for breaking the rules.
Posted By Anonymous Kai, White Plains, NY : 1:03 PM ET
I would ask that the majority community stop trying to set-up one ethnic community against the other. The vast majority of people of color support this movement. It is disingenuous to see the majority community come out and suggest otherwise. I believe that you are better than this.
Posted By Anonymous Castro Valley, CA : 1:04 PM ET
I am the son of South American immigrants, who came to the US legally. My father, who was a civil engineer but is now deceased, would not have stayed away from work in protest. Neither my mother (a nurse) or I (finance) stayed away from work. Let it be known that these protestors do not speak for all Latin immigrants.
Posted By Anonymous Ivan, San Diego CA : 1:04 PM ET
Perhaps this is because the immigrants in Chinatown know that if you want people to respect you in a foreign country, you have to respect their laws first. Protesting on behalf of legal immigrants to cover the interests of illegal immigrants will not win you any friends.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Pan, New York, New York : 1:04 PM ET
This only points out that the media is sorely out of touch in referring to this as "A Day Without an Immigrants." More appropriately, this should be called "A Day Without Illegal Immagrants." One has to look very hard at any of the major media accounts of today's demonstrations to even find the word 'illegal.' The media, various business interests, and our esteemed politicians, continue to ignore the will of the vast number of Americans and legal immirgants who do not support this self-serving support of those who violate our laws. We are the only nation on Earth that does not protect its borders. I hope and pray that all of us who believe our politicians and lawmakers have betrayed us in this issue, do not forget this disgrace come November. I, for one, will not vote for anyone with the word 'incumbent' after their name. It's time to clean house, my fellow Americans, and elect representation that will do exactly that, represent us.
Posted By Anonymous John Taylor, Santa Maria, CA : 1:04 PM ET
This a shame, I just hope this information gets out to all my Latinos who fill their pockets too.

What goes around comes around.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Rochester, NY : 1:05 PM ET
Chinatown residents and workers are probably just too busy to be aware of the rallies. Most of them probably don't watch the news to begin with. Businesses in Chinatown, like restaurants, hire on the fly, and no one really has any stable jobs. When someone leaves for whatever reason, another one will be hired immediately. Many of the lower class Chinese immigrants just cannot afford to lose their jobs for the sake of going to a rally. The owners of many businesses probably don't care for this issue to allow them to rally (and keep their jobs at the same time). It is a fact that there are many illegal Asian immigrants as well, and if they stop working for a day, the economy will definitely notice a ripple.

Also, I don't think there is enough grassroots outreach between minority groups on this matter, and many Asian immigrants who are supportive of these rallies may not have been in the loop, so to say.
Posted By Anonymous Rodney, Boston, MA : 1:07 PM ET
I was neutral before all the Mexican flag waving protests started to break out...Now I am convinced-EVERY day should be a day without Mexicans.
Posted By Anonymous Philip, New York : 1:09 PM ET
If illegal immigrants can come to US and get citizenship because of proximity, everyone should be able to move to multi million dollar house in the neighborhood and claim a piece of the property after hiding there for 2 years. I am not against immigrants since I am one myself, but a developed/civilzed country should have certain laws and rules written down for people to follow, or else what's the difference between us and any other communist/socialist countries. I am so disappointed that this country has become a place where politican can use any chance including freedom as a way to gain votes for their own personal sake. Freedom does not equal lawless ... it's so unfortunate that the best of this country ... freedom ... has been misused and ridicously interpreted for personal benefit only. The last 10 years, there are healthy growth of immigrants through the legal channel ... when does it start when we call crossing a border illegally, undocumented? So, why do we even need immigration at the airport??? Double standard or what?
Posted By Anonymous Ying Ying, New York : 1:11 PM ET
The Enemy Within

�A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.�

� Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman orator and statesman, circa 45 B.C.
Posted By Anonymous Brian Scarborough, Boulder Colorado : 1:19 PM ET
Yes I am an immigrant too. I am ignoring the call for boycott as well. Even though I am not of chinese origin I am working today. You see it seems to me the media has done a poor job of specifying the distinct differences between legal and illegal immigrants. I believe there is no one that objects to legal immigration or anyone that is here legally. And that I feel is not said often enough. To the chinatown community, if you find illegal workers in your community go after the employers they are the real bad guys...
Posted By Anonymous Klaus, Racine WI : 1:19 PM ET
Okay, I just read some of those comments. Chinese Americans are accepted because we have a culture of silence and if we actually say anything we would be marginalized too. If it was Asians who flew those planes into the towers, we wouldn't be seen so nice, grateful and hardworking.
Posted By Anonymous Teresa, Los Angeles : 1:20 PM ET
I agree with Jean from Kansas City, and I'd add to her comment that nothing is more telling about how we are viewed by the governments of those countries than when someone we love dies there under suspicious circumstances. These cases and the lack of response or closure from people in "authority" there are infamous, and yet we consider, debate, and tolerate the needs and "rights" of their brethern as they clog our streets, and rewrite our anthem. When, or how, will it end?
Posted By Anonymous Margie, Middletown, NJ : 1:20 PM ET
This is what I call "hard working people." What are we hispanics trying to prove with this boycott? Perhaps the only thing that we are doing is to confirm that Hispanics don't care for education (since wer are pulling our kids out of school), and that we work only when we want to.
Posted By Anonymous Carol Barillas, Madison, WI : 3:01 PM ET
The so called 'promoters' of the immigration movement have hijacked the undocumented immigrants lack of leadership.

The naive illegals knowing no better will follow these promoters with their political agenda. They know they have no rights, no anthems, no documents, nothhing.. they work and work and and they are being used (like always).

I'll take them anytime and ship out my drug dealing, welfare scamming, 'I know my Rights', this country owes me neighbors anytime.
Posted By Anonymous Jason K. - Glendale Hts, IL : 4:22 PM ET
I came legally from India(H1B) and then I am paying taxes almost 14000/- federal 4000-5000 state and then Social security, Insurance....etc. But now i have filed for GC and paying 5500 for GC fees and etc etc....But if i change my company before 2009 then i have to start again the same process, but if i would have been illegal then NO TAXES, OPEN TO CHANGE COMPANIESS, NO INSURANCE REQUIRED........I think there is no use of coming to USA as an Engineer better come as a worker save more than Engineers (Whose job is never Certain).........Engineers hire and fire are very high so normally an engineer works 9-10 months max in a year.........but illegal people work 12 months in a year.........
Posted By Anonymous Shiv, Marina del rey, CA : 4:23 PM ET
This 'a day without immigrants'/ 'immigrants rights?' boycott is being led by leaders with political agenda and the poor 'illegal alien' is being used as a pawn (so what else is new?)
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Y. - Chicago, IL : 4:25 PM ET
Don't you people get it? It's not easy to become a "legal" immigrant. It's not like you can just say "I wanna be legal" and voila--You're legal! NOOOO!!! It's very tough!!! Stop being so ignorant!
Posted By Anonymous Ana, Merced, CA : 4:25 PM ET
Hopefully, if amnesty is granted to a bunch of long-time lawbreakers, then the immigration quotas for the associated countries will be adjusted downward. If we're going to be doing the amnesty thing every 10 or 20 years, then we really don't need to be bothering with the legal immigration thing. Heck, that can free up some Federal dollars as well, by getting rid of some bureaucrats.
Posted By Anonymous Paul, Vernal, UT : 5:12 PM ET
There are many legal hispanics that have problems with the idea of boycotts and the blatant demands of illegal immigrants. I myself am one of those people. Americans have to stop and call it like it is!!! It is not a day without immigrants. They are ILLEGAL immigrants. They should have to follow the legal ways to become legal like the chinese etc. I myself did not care that they did not come to work or their children didn't come to school. It shows that they are willing to get what they can even at the expense of their children. What does not going to school have to do with their cause? I hope that Americans put their hands up and say THATS ENOUGH!!! We certainly can't go to mexico, russia china and expect for their gov't to grant us holiday in their country, be able to obtain state help $, have english speaking classes etc. I am appauled at their audacity.
Posted By Anonymous Donna, Hilton Head, SC : 5:40 PM ET
Let's "Thank" the illegals for gang violence, high healthcare costs, reduced property values and an ever increasing lack of literacy.
Posted By Anonymous Trenton, Azusa, California : 6:06 PM ET
This article and discussions are not giving insightful comments with what needs to be done in regards with the immigration issue. They are only causing frictions among minority groups. I believe most Chinese immigrates are here to make better life for their families. They are not here to make enemies with legal/illegal immigrates, other any other ethnic groups.
Posted By Anonymous Sam, Los Angeles, CA : 6:10 PM ET
I agree with Ana. Most of the people that were out there today and on the prior rallies were out there not asking for their rights, but for an opportunity to become legal. Unfortunately for them, most have a very low education level (not to mention don't speak english) therefore obtaining a work visa is not an easy task. Add to that the fact that there are hundreds crossing the border each day looking for that opportunity and the task is next to impossible. Also, you must keep one thing in mind; The reason they cross over is to find a form of living that cannot be provided in their place of origin. They may not take tax cuts from their paychecks, but everything they purchase is coming from a US business so they do pay taxes there. Furthermore, they have to accept a pay that sometimes is below minimum wage and make ends meet with that. Yes, they crossed illegaly but not because it was the easiest way, but because for most it's the only way to make some kind of future for their families.
Posted By Anonymous Cesar M., Reynosa, Mexico : 6:56 PM ET
The Chinese are far from being ignorant of the rally taking place today. The majority of us have gone through proper legal channels to become legal citizens of this country. I have family members that have waited over 10 years before they were allowed to enter this country with a green card. For those Chinese that are here illegally in this country, they know that they broke the law and have no rights as an illegal therefore they will not say anything. To do so is presumptous and foolish.
Posted By Anonymous M. Wong, Van Nuys, CA : 7:31 PM ET
William Lai: You are very wrong illegal immigrants are not just from MEXICO they are from many countries including those in South America and even in Europe and Asia... so don't try to act as if Mexicans are the only people coming here illegally because you're wrong.
Posted By Anonymous Christina A, Dallas Texas : 8:00 PM ET
To: Ana from Merced, CA

Don't you get it? No one claim life is easy, yet most of us got to the U.S. in a LEGAL ways. Why should this new group allow to break the law. You stop being so ignorant!!

Yes, I'm a LEGAL immigrant. I follow U.S. laws!
Posted By Anonymous William L. Chicago, IL : 9:27 PM ET
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