Monday, May 01, 2006
Closed restaurant sends message in Chapel Hill
A banner waves from the second story balcony of Top of the Hill, one of the most popular restaurants in Chapel Hill, North Carolina -- "Todos somos Immigrantes! We are all Immigrants."

Proprietor Scott Maitland decided to close shop on Monday and forego about $12,000 in sales to support "A Day Without Immigrants," hoping to draw attention to the debate about immigration policy.

"Immigrants have always been an important part of our society," Maitland said. "Our willingness to open up makes us American."

Maitland said immigrants play an integral role in his restaurant, with many of them working there for more than five years, advancing from the dish room to the floor.

Sam Kenworthy, a college freshman, read a notice on the door explaining why the restaurant was closed, but paid more heed to a handwritten addition from his friends telling him to "Go to Spanky's" -- a restaurant across the street.

Dozens more would-be patrons also read the notice, pausing for a moment before rattling off other dining options.

But it also got some of those people talking. "I think it sends a positive message that boycotts like this work," said Sara Ward. She said the closed restaurant made more of an impression on her than anything she had seen in the news.
Posted By Kristi Keck, CNN.com Contributor: 7:51 PM ET
  73 Comments
I say if you saw any resturants closed today, don't go there again to eat because the likelyhood is high that some of their employees are illegal aliens.

BOYCOTT COMPANIES WHO HIRE ILLEGALS

It can't get any simplier than that.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Suttons Bay, MI : 8:11 PM ET
Immigrants are an important part of America, however ILLEGAL immigrants are NOT! They take the jobs that most Americans don't want AT THE PAY THE BUSINESS OWNERS are willing to pay. Which means the American's refuse to do as much as the owner wants at a low pay the owner wants! That somehow keeps being eliminated in each and every speech I see/read! I am totally FOR making illegals felons and then deport them back to their own country! Thank God cnn.com had the decency to put in one of their articles that there are PLENTY of LEGAL immigrants that are saying these protestors do NOT speak for them! They went through the hard work to become legal...EVERYONE should have to period! Don't like our rules while living in MY country? Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way back to your country!
Posted By Anonymous Jolynn, Newnan GA : 8:13 PM ET
Is hard for americans understand immigrants.. the reason that we are here is because our countries are poor, no money and we have a dreams are a lot of professionals doctors, nurses, teachers, ingineers, etc that are here working hard to support our families, we sacrifies everything for the american dreams, bunch of people died trying, but we are no criminals, we just wanna work, we don't ask to be a citizen now, just we want a social security number and authorization for work legaly, just that immigration laws is a huge process...and we are helping this nation too...God Bless America.
Posted By Anonymous Daysi Theobald, Charlottesville, VA : 8:49 PM ET
Referring to the rallies over and over again as being for "Immigrants' Rights" is a misnomer. And the eagerness with which activists try to paint the debate as racist is also misplaced and irresponsible.

Nobody is debating "immigrants" who have the right to be here.

The debate is over sneaking into the country and stealing: stealing public works without paying taxes, stealing jobs from American citizens, and stealing the opportunity that other immigrant hopefuls wait dutifully (legally) for.

A sovereign nation has the right and duty to enforce its borders, the right and duty to decide who may come in and under what conditions. That is what the debate is about. I am fed up with efforts to color the issue with the broad brush of racism. If you immigrated here legally don't flatter yourself: nobody is talking about you.
Posted By Anonymous JD, St. Louis MO : 8:50 PM ET
Those here illegally are not irreplaceable. Eventually legal citizens and/or technology will replace the need for unskilled labor as history has proven over and over again. It is just, at this time, illegal unskilled labor is temporarily more economically feasible to those that employ them. Once those that are given amnesty start demanding higher wages and benefits the cycle will start over again without federal enforcement of the borders.
Posted By Anonymous Dean, Colorado Springs, Colorado : 8:53 PM ET
Apparently the owners of this restaurant have never been to Tucson Arizona. Why not go down and check out our public school system and the hospital emergency rooms filled with pregnant Mexican women.
Posted By Anonymous Louise Pardue, Tucson AZ. : 8:53 PM ET
It's truly pathetic that people will judge an issue like illegal immigration by whether or not their restaurant is opened or closed. If that's the level of intellectual debate, Americans deserve to have their country conquered and corrupted from within. The fact is that illegal immigrants have broken the law by entering illegally, have depressed wages for Americans, and now are engaging in a form of extortion, demanding citizenship by threat. America must wake up before it's too late!
Posted By Anonymous Anthony, West Linn, Oregon : 8:55 PM ET
I think that it is good that majority of the immigrants- whether they be illegal or not- have came together to rally in many parts of the United States. This can be a primary example of how a mass demonstration can bring change to the society that we all live in.
Posted By Anonymous Troi, St Thomas, VI : 8:57 PM ET
Nobody's forcing business owners to hire illegal aliens. I really don't see how we can stop illegal immigration when our business owners are rarely and mildly penalized for knowingly employing illegal aliens. It's half the problem. Besides noting which restaurants are closed during immigration rallies, we can also use the simple rule of going to the restaurants that cost more - they probably employe fewer illegals. Oh, wait, that would involve some personal sacrifice on our part. Nevermind.
Posted By Anonymous Eric Reifsnider, Corvallis, Oregon, USA : 8:57 PM ET
I can't get over how nasty the comments are today. This is the first time I've felt the need to BATHE after reading comments on this blog.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 8:58 PM ET
Immigrants are important to the fabric of the United States, it is what makes this country unique. So I am all for legal immigration to this county. I am not for illegal immigration. There are reasons why a nation or country or state has laws. Fundamentally there needs to be laws in which to function in, otherwise there is chaos. To deviate from laws creates to many gray areas for a complex society to function. How the numbers of illegal immigrants got to be as high as it did is the fault of our Federal and State Governments lack of enforcement of immigration laws. Turning a blind eye over the years and cutting the budget in which to implement immigration laws got our government in the situation they find themselves in today. They have no one to blame but themselves. I honestly do not have any answers for how the illegal immigrant situation should be dealt with. I'm sure my response would not be practical. But I can not condone breaking the law. If I broke any laws I would be arrested and prosecuted. What makes dealing with illegal immigrants any different. The sheer number of them is NO EXCUSE for any type of amnesty either.
Posted By Anonymous Donna M. Minneapolis, Mn. : 8:59 PM ET
We may all be IMMIGRANTS but we are not all ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. Come in the right and legal way and NO PROBLEM.....come in ILLEGALLY you need to GET OUT.
Our Goverment should make it clear: YOU have 14 days to get out of OUR COUNTRY if you are here ILLEGALLY or face FELONY charges if caught after the 14 day reprive. PERIOD. Stop letting ILLEGALS tell us "US CITIZENS" to be fair to them when they had no respect for our laws to start with. ILLEGALS GET OUT. I am an AMERICAN by birth and my Great grandfather immigrated here from Canada in 1899 and he did it LEGALLY.
Posted By Anonymous Jo Kilby, Columbus, IN : 9:00 PM ET
I won't support companies that shut down today. I think it is important to respect the law - illegal immigration does not respect the law. Seems like a pretty simple expectation to me. Obey the laws of the land that you are in.
Posted By Anonymous Susie Van Nuys, CA : 9:00 PM ET
I think most people would agree that something has to be done about the illegal alien problem! Why do you think Mexico is such a hole? Why are we letting them come over here and do the same thing to our country? We offer to many free things to them like health care, food, etc. Maybe if we cut that out we might not get so many coming over here. They need to be sent back to their own country and employers need to be prosecuted for hiring them!!
Posted By Anonymous Adrienne, St. George, UT : 9:04 PM ET
Want to come live here? Then enter this country LEGALLY, and EARN the right to be here. Illegal aliens have no right to be marching around streets of a country they have no right to even be in, and demanding rights they do not deserve!
Posted By Anonymous Ellen, Kansas City, MO : 9:05 PM ET
I have been in the construction business all my life, and in the last 15 years, I have seen almost all of the work in the trades be taken over by immigrants, legal or otherwise. I have also seen a precipitous decline in the quality of the finished product that we have to sell to owners, engineers and architects. Most of the immigrants I see in my business are honest, decent, hard-working people, but there is a definite limit to their skills. We have nobody but ourselves to blame for this. We have become a 'Walmart Economy', intent on delivering a product at the lowest possible price, quality be damned, and the days when our sons (and daughters) could make a viable living as carpenters and masons and concrete finishers are sadly gone. I don't blame the immigrants for trying to make their own lives better, but I think this is symptomatic of the decline and inevitable fall of our society.
Posted By Anonymous Gus, Herndon VA : 9:09 PM ET
(Jolyn) I couldn't agree with you more. People complain about how "these people" work low paying jobs that the average American would not work. Well think about it logically, if no one worked those jobs the multi million dollar Corporations and Farmers would be forced to higher their wages.

Thousands of companies are proffiting from hiring Illegal Immigrants without having to pay Billions of dollars in taxes. Guess who makes up for that, us!
Posted By Anonymous Navid, Woodland Hills CA : 9:11 PM ET
The difference is we are a LEGAL immigrants. We got in line and follow the U.S. laws to get into this country.

How is a right to walk into someone's house and after a while to claims "Now is this my house too".

Let's be honest, this is not a immigration issue, it's mostly an illegal Mexican wanting to get into the U.S. issue.

I understand why they wanted to come to the U.S., because their own Mexican governemnt is useless and can't support it's own citizens. If the Mexicans want to protest, they should protest to their own goverment's capabilities.
Posted By Anonymous William Lai Chicago, IL : 9:12 PM ET
These peopel are insane. Yes, we are ALL IMMIGRANTS, but we are not all ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

These fruits are standing in the street and whining that even though they are here ILLEGALLY, they don't want us to call them "illegal immigrants". We have to call them "undocumented workers", because they feel there is nothing "illegal" about them. Sorry skippy, not gonna happen.

If they truely believe there is nothing "illegal" about them, then why are they demanding "amnesty"? You don't need amnesty for a legal act? You only need amnesty if you've done something considered illegal. So by DEMANDING "amnesty" they are in fact acknowledging that not only what they are doing is ILLEGAL, but that they KNOW it's illegal and they dont care.

Tomorow, I am going to rob a bank. But I would appreciate it if you did not refer to me as a criminal or a "bank robber". I prefer the term, "undocumented debtor". And I DEMAND amnesty if I make it out of the bank and off their property before I am arrested.

The LEGAL Americans that support this B.S. make me sick.
Posted By Anonymous Blaine Kessler, Gaffney South Carolina : 9:13 PM ET
None of my local Spanish restaurants were closed. Good thing becuase I would boycott them for the rest of the year.
Posted By Anonymous Claude Akley Calhoun GA : 9:13 PM ET
This whole thing has been hijacked by every wacko group in the country. It's also been twisted from ILLEGAL immigrants to immigrants. Nobody is saying no to LEGAL immigration. If you break the law to get into this country and then try to blackmail americans into doing your bidding you will lose. Do you want to be a LEGAL American? Job one is obey the law! Go home and do it right, then and only then will Americans embrace and respect you. CNN is the only news I have read today to mention this diparity between legal and ILLEGAL. GET IT ILLEGAL!!!
Posted By Anonymous Frank, Tucson, AZ : 9:14 PM ET
Immigration in America is totally acceptable by my standards. However, if you come into the country ILLEGALLY, then just stay out. What kind of message does that send to the millions upon millions of people waiting for their acceptance letter?
Posted By Anonymous Justin, Cleveland ohio : 9:15 PM ET
Indigenous people of North America do not understand why our immigrant European fellow Americans, who migrated here - to find a better life, are so concerned with immigrants now. Is it because immigrants tend to bring new disease, change the cosmetic make up & culture of the existing tribe? And what about America's West Coast make up then & now? How was this changed seventy years ago in the 1930's, when millions of Indigenous people of North America, were sent to live a little further south and not allowed to take any thing but the clothes on their back. This also was done by organizing, protesting, and intimidation tactics. Kinda scary huh?
My point is this - the United States of America is the product of hard working immigrants, let's learn this lesson and not let history repeat itself. There is an opportunity to avoid this. Remember the price of democracy is the breaking down of barriers - dare I say borders? After all, is it not the United States of America who is constantly infiltrating / illegally immigrating to other countries in order spread our brand of democracy? Yes, this is a good thing, but the price of this is changing the cosmetic make up & culture of the existing tribe.
Posted By Anonymous george martinez, lancaster, ca. : 9:18 PM ET
I will not spend my money in any business establishment that closed its doors today in support of the boycott. It seems our government and the media have lost sight of what this is all about. It is about ridding our country of illegal immigrants. There's no doubt that immigrants have contributed to America and made this country what it is today. But 12 million illegal immigrants is inexcusible. And to allow these illegals a fast track to citizenship is a slap in the face to anyone who came to this country, learned the language, the history and earned their citizenship.
Posted By Anonymous michele, los angeles, ca : 9:20 PM ET
The ILLEGAL immigrants need to go along with the businesses that hire them. Shut them all down. This is a country of laws and that means all laws not just the ones you want to follow. Get out and go back to your old country and try to protest there. Somehow I don't think your leaders would put up with that. If you want to live here do it legally and learn the laws along with english while your at it.
Posted By Anonymous Matt, West Bloomfield, MI : 9:28 PM ET
I let the owners of three restaurants I patronize regularly know that if they in any way changed there hours or service as a result of the protests, neither I nor my money would ever again pass through their doors.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Romanello, Nashville, TN : 10:09 PM ET
When my family came to the United States 150 years ago. They came too work, learned the English language, respected the law and became legal citzens'. They did'nt expect special treatment and they had to work very hard, as well. Latino's still may do this today! Wake-up and smell the coffee...
Posted By Anonymous J Wilson, Fuquay Varina, NC : 2:18 AM ET
Guess what? The economy did not even hiccup. I live in California where most of the illegal aliens are and didn't notice a thing. In my opinion, the "Day Without Immigrants" was a failure. The malls, business, and restaurants were operating as usual. In my opinion, let them take another day off. Hell, take a year off and take a vacation outside the U.S.. Maybe now, LEGAL immigrants can get jobs at decent wages instead of getting low-balled by illegal aliens.
Posted By Anonymous C. Fernandez, San Francisco, CA : 2:22 AM ET
Businesses and Government are to blame. Illegal immigrants get jobs because the government ignores laws already on the books, and businesses know they are not supposed to hire illegals yet they do. They simply don't want to hire legals, claiming it affects their profits.
Couple that with businesses exporting jobs to communist nations and we have a recipe for disaster. How about this solution...instead of sending our jobs overseas to oppressive regime nations like China and Vietnam, lets send some of those jobs to Mexico. Mexicans will stay home, we will get our cheap goods, and Americans can quit whining and enjoy the fruits of earning "lost" minimum wages which haven't changed since 1997.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Savage, OKC, OK : 2:22 AM ET
This is a complex issue made immensely more difficult by the failures of our federal and state governments to enforce immigration and legal residency laws. But before we get more emotional about the issue, we need to think about the role of our federal government in the world; effects of international free trade agreements - who are the winners and losers; the role of American businesses - actually transnational corportions in the world as entities unto themselves with budgets larger than that of their host countries; our purchase of goods produced by children and very cheap labor abroad, and the migratory patterns of Americans in the world - the number of Americans who live and work in other countries legally and illegally, what kinds of jobs/pay levels they enjoy, and also the number who move freely about with or without visas.
My point is for us to think about this illegal immigrant issue in America in a broader context, get factual understandings, have some humility, and propose workable solutions that allow people their dignity even if one solution is repatriation.
Posted By Anonymous Doro, Portland, Oregon : 2:30 AM ET
I came here legally 15 years ago, and acquired my long desired citizenship 5 years ago. What these lazy illegal immigrants want to do is cut the line ahead of the people who are doing it the legal way. Nobody likes line cutters, and usually in theme parks these are ejected from the parks. Likewise ilegals don't deserve to be in the USA.
Posted By Anonymous Alberto, Huntington Station, NY : 2:40 AM ET
Walkouts? Suppose all of the customers who don't agree with
those who closed their doors
stage their own "walkout" by
never walking back in again?
The other side of the aisle has
some rather strong feelings about
this, too.
Posted By Anonymous Patricia Williams, Houston Texas : 2:42 AM ET
Nothing like the media singling out one single restaurant closed in North Carolina to make this Boycott out to be something that it was not.

I live in Southern California. On May 1st I ate out every meal, did all my shopping, got my car washed, and every store was open and functioning normally. Only difference was that the freeways were wide open. Commutes only took half the normal time. This Boycott showed a lot of LA residence how overwhelmed the freeways are with the illegals. Subtract them from the equation and end all of the congestion.
Posted By Anonymous Jamie Abernathy Burbank, CA : 3:48 AM ET
These people are fleeing poverty and demanding that we ignore the rule of law in our own country. My grandmother left Mussolini's Italy when he'd begun percecuting and KILLING people, yet they took the time to do it properly, legally.

If there are 11 million illegal aliens in the country, deport them.
If they want to come back in legally, allow them.
Posted By Anonymous Doug Glendower, Bakersfield CA : 3:54 AM ET
I am a Mexican in US-legal!-. I thought people in USA was much more tolerant and smarter than what the people in this chat seems to be.

YES! Something illegal could never be right. But before judging people you should know all of the underlying factors. So here is something for you to think about (I hope)

1. Please!!! immigrants don't pay taxes??? What about all the sales taxes (do they eat air and don't sleep at all?)? Then, most of them also pay income taxes.. So it is NOT TRUE that they are just using your resources without paying for them.

2.Mexico and other latin countries are poor. Blame the government? Probably. It doesn't matter. Whatever action the government takes will not have an automatic effect. Which means, these people will continue to starve. Who would ever jeopardize his life to go and work at farms at minimum wage? Only people that would starve otherwise.

3. A big deal in this issue is globalization. Yes! that's right! that thing that has helped USA so much. Well, by globalizing USA has benefited and Mexico (And other developing economies) has been hurt.

4. "Ok, let's keep all immigrants out of the country.. let's raise wages and get more jobs for Americans!"...GET REAL people!!!! globalization will keep prices down, which means OUTSOURCING!! a lot of companies will close and Americans will not only be without the janitor/low wage jobs.. but also without the medium/high salaries ones.

5. Life would be better in Mexico (I think) if the natural resources--oil-- my country provides to other developed economies were priced higher, or if labor at Maquilas was better, and I can go on and on... which ultimately means higher prices for Americans..

6. Finally, for those that say.. "Do it the right way, come here as legal".. well, that is almost impossible for the kind of immigrants that work at farms and restaurants. For some immigrants like me, it could be tedious, but it is possible-- and by the way, I think you should worry more about an American losing to me the kind of job that I can get than the ones that the illegal immigrants marching are claiming for.

So this issue has a greater impact for "middle America" than you can think of. Aside from the economic impact, I think you should be more fair (not just) to people. America was created by immigrants. America has also invaded a lot of countries (physically and ideologically. American people benefit from the low wages and life standards from people in underdeveloped countries around the world. Don't gain more enemies!--11/9, cuba, don't go on and on..
Posted By Anonymous Maria Vela, Austin, TX : 4:04 AM ET
Being a Native American, and full blood of the Navajo Tribe. This issue of legal immigrants has been is most amusing. When I turn on the television, and see the coverage of this topic, I can't help but wonder if my people who first encountered the first foreign settlers who came to this continent some five hundred years ago illegally felt the same as those who are so passionate about seeing the new illegal aliens who are coming into their neighborhoods. Most Native Americans have been silent on the issue, because we have lived it, and continue to feel its reprecussions of being taken over by the illegal aliens of the past. Being displaced by foreigners has always been an issue with our people, and to this day, our reservations are this the result of their agenda. What goes around comes around.
Posted By Anonymous Irving Window Rock, Arizona : 5:55 AM ET
I would like to know how much it cost we, the taxpayers to clean up the streets after these protests, police time, emergency services time and blockage of traffic. Shouldn't the cost be charged back to the protesters?
Posted By Anonymous Paula Creve Coeur, IL : 7:01 AM ET
I too stopped at a restaurant that was closed to observe the boycott. That restaurant is now off my list. I also have the right to boycott.
Posted By Anonymous Randy Craig, Rising Sun, IN : 7:05 AM ET
PLEASE! I worked for the Department of Homeland Security in a small town for the wage (as Office Manager) of $7.10 per hour.
However, while both (my Hispanic neighbor & I) of us are now in New Orleans, my Hispanic neighbor with his VERY LIMITED ENGLISH, complains that his wage has DROPPED to, "barely $20.00 per hour!" I have generations of police officers in my family that have yet to make near that upon retirement.
Is this EQUALITY?
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, New Orleans, LA : 7:15 AM ET
If the Immigrants dont like this counrty, then STOP complaining and go back to where it is you came from; It's these immigrants that are ruining this country; People like this that come to the US illegally; do NOT deserve ANY type of rights; Put them back on the boat, and shipp'em home!
Posted By Anonymous Josh, Tekonsha, MI : 7:39 AM ET
I have no problem with immigrants wanting to come to work here in the U.S. However here is the one problem I have with ILLEGAL immigrants: What happens the day or tomorrow a massive war breaks out (on the scale of WWII for example) and a draft is instituted. Do you think these illegal immigrants are going to be eligible? No they will hot tail it back to their country. Even though they have benefited from all things our citizens' taxes pay for like roads, parks, schools, etc., etc... Bottom line is when the sh!t hits the fan and something major happens I highly doubt these illegal immigrants will step up.
Posted By Anonymous Joe, Tampa, FL. : 7:45 AM ET
Was there a boycott yesterday? Huh hardly noticed, guess we don't need all those illegal aliens around. It really made absolutely no difference. So lets go forward and deport all illegal aliens or make it a felony to be here illegally.
Posted By Anonymous Kathleen Bountiful, Utah : 7:46 AM ET
I don't get what is so unfair about wanting people to be in this country legally. If you enter this county illegally you are breaking the laws of the country you want to accept you. Come legally the way our ancestors did or don't come at all. I don't think that is unfair to ask. It should not be as simple as waving a magic wand to make someone a legal immigrant.
Posted By Anonymous Heather Gregory Dayton, Ohio : 7:52 AM ET
Dean from Colorado has a good point. If/when these illegals do get Amnesty or become citizens then they will have enough cahonas to be able to speak up and ask for more money and better benefits. Than what do you do?
I agree, this country needs immigrants (how do you think we got here). My problem is with the illiegal ones. Go back home and do it the right way.....
Posted By Anonymous Brian, Belleville, IL : 8:03 AM ET
I live in what has been called one of the fastest growing Hispanic areas in the country, yet yesterday when I went out I did not see one single protest. I went out looking and found none! Why is that you ask? Because the people who are here came legally and we welcomed them. They have their own businesses and have made a name for themselves in the community. There is a place for immigrants, but not a place for criminals who balk at our country and hijack the system. It is an affront to those who have come here legally and what they have spent years creating.
Posted By Anonymous Blaise Hartman, Travelers Rest, SC : 8:05 AM ET
I am tired of people focusing on how it is about legal immigrants and not illegal immigrants. So, if you don't favor the issue it isn't fair for others to join in and support an issue? Or about how other groups or organizations have taken the issue that is not theirs. Listen, anyone ever heard of the concept of allies? Men can be feminists, immigrants can band together. During the civil rights movements in the U.S. all kinds of groups and organizations banded together. People in the U.S. who weren't South African protested against Apartheid and they organized, had different resources, boycotted, etc. Throughout history people have struggled and supported social justice even if it meant little benefit for the self. We all have different ideas about what social justice means. For some people it isn't on the radar screen, for some it weighs against the laws (even if we don't agee with them).

Laws are fallable. Once upon a time women could not vote in the U.S., people of African descent could be enslaved, intermarriage was not allowed, segregation was the norm. Protest made us question these laws. Frankly, I think the boycotts and demonstrations have served one important purpose, they have put the issues on the table. That is what our nation needs, look at what is normally on television, mindless reality shows.

Protest is good, rallying around a common cause is good. Making our nation take an honest look at itself and how it treats immigrants legal and illegal is good. We know how that resentment and hate towards illegal immigrants spills over onto anyone who has an Asian or Spanish or non-European accent. I've watched it happen to my family and to friends who are legal immigrants, and international students, so it is naive to say that the issues and groups are totally separate. Discrimination strikes with a broad sweep. It is rational to respond with a broad coalition.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy, Kalamazoo, MI : 8:05 AM ET
I hope legal citizens in his community will boycott his restaurant.
Posted By Anonymous glenn lagonegro, germantown, md : 8:40 AM ET
I'm not against immigrants. My parents and most of my family were immigrants. I'm against those who feel they don't need to follow due process other immigrants had to follow. They are in this country illegally, plain and simple. What's next? Former prisoners and fugitives protesting prison conditions?
Posted By Anonymous JM Friedman, Jacksonville, FL : 8:45 AM ET
Funny, becuase one photo of the demonstrations showed people carrying a sign that said "freedom and justice for all" and the entire point of this is immigration debate is to deter illegal immigration, encourage legal immigration and take the apporpriate legal action on those who broke the law. So in a sense they exactly right to carry that sign it is just the justice they are referring too isn't what they really want.
Posted By Anonymous John, Newport RI : 8:51 AM ET
Like many, I have no problem with LEGAL immigrants. We are a nation on LEGAL immigrants. I do have a problem with illegal immigrants. Jobs that high school and college students used to do are being taken by illegal immigrants because they work cheaper and employers don't have to pay payroll taxes.

Let's not blame the illegal immigrants. You can't blame them for wanting a better life. Instead, make it a felony for employers to hire illegal immigrants. Don't not allow them to hide behind using temp agencies. The temp agency and the company that contracted with them should both get charged. It's all about supply and demand. Dry up the demand for cheap, illegal labor and there isn't a reason to come.

I find it ironic that many of the protestors are from Mexico. I cannot immigrate legally to Mexico if I'm not a professional. I would get thrown in jail if there illegally. I cannot own any prime property in Mexico even if I'm there legally. If I became a citizen of Mexico, I would not be allowed to vote. Yet, the president of Mexico is complaining about our laws? Would he rather we adopt his laws? Maybe the protestors should put all that energy into improving their own country so they don't have to leave. Lord knows it's warmer down there.
Posted By Anonymous Cathy, Kenosha WI : 9:03 AM ET
"Todos somos Immigrantes! We are all Immigrants."

How can one respect a country whose laws they so flagrantly violate? How can one so easily disrespect everyone else that fought so hard to come in properly?

Immigrants we may be, but the laws we still must follow. There are proper channels to observe in the path to become a citizen, and forgoing them sends a very clear signal that current illegal immigrants have absolutely no respect for the country.
Posted By Anonymous Jake, Wheeling IL : 9:05 AM ET
"Apparently the owners of this restaurant have never been to Tucson Arizona. Why not go down and check out our public school system and the hospital emergency rooms filled with pregnant Mexican women."

Wow, could you possibly get anymore judgemental? I don't understand why people are acting this way towards immigrants. The illegal immigrants here are not even nearly as bad as the LEGAL Americans living in my area. These people don't even work, and they live off of the government.. taking advantage of our country. At least most immigrants come over here to get work done. I know the idea of drug smugglers, and I'm not for that, but there's no way you're ever going to stop that. Drug smuggling with immigrants has been around for years, and it will stay that way. Everyone's ancestors came over here for a better life at some point in their history, what makes these people so different?
Posted By Anonymous Alyssia, Columbia SC : 9:08 AM ET
My wife and her family immigrated to the U.S. legally in the late 70's. Supporting illegal immigrants "rights" and amnesty cheapens what legal immigrants went through on the proper path to citizenship. Legal immigration is noble and necessary to the future of our country. Illegal immigration will only lead to decay within. Start by holding employers accountable for whom they employ as well as tightening the process for obtaining driver licenses and updating how social security numbers are tracked. Getting angry at illegals will not fix the problem. We need to fix the decay from within.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Hollinger; Fuquay Varina, NC : 9:09 AM ET
Immigrants are not the same as illegal aliens. Boycott and fine the businesses that hire illegal aliens.
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 9:12 AM ET
I immigrated here legally from Cuba when I was a child. Because of immigration red tape, my family could not come over all at once, so my sister, mom, and I were in Cuba while my brother and dad were here in the U.S. for years. We love this country and have great respect for the laws and great appreciation for the citizenship we were eventually granted after hard work and much personal sacrifice. The illegal immigrants here in this country are no worse than other people trying to immigrate legally, but they are no better either, so they should not skip in line ahead of everyone waiting patiently and respecting our laws, like my family. I think we should reform the immigration process to make it much quicker. That will put these human-traffickers out of business. We need immigrants, including the ones we have here, but we need them to abide by the law. As things stand now, they're breaking the law every day. That means they grow up fearing the police and viewing the police as an enemy, and that is no way to live or to raise families in this country.
Posted By Anonymous Victor C, Fairfax VA : 9:20 AM ET
I actually had plans to patronize a mexican restaurant in my city yesterday for a friend's birthday! After the fisaco that ensued in my country (United States of America) yesterday I changed my plans and ate at a totally American establishment. Illegals have NO right to come to the US and demand or protest anything.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, Clinton, MS : 9:23 AM ET
There is no doubt that if the government does its job and enforces our immigration laws that it will have an impact on our economy. That being said, we, as citizens, have to ask ourselves is it worth the price? Higher restaurant prices, delays in getting that addition put on your house, higher lawn care costs, etc are all results from a decline in illegal immigration. I, for one, would be willing to endure these "hardships" so that the U.S. finally takes back control of its border and immigration policy.
Posted By Anonymous Robert Gruber, Fairfield, CT : 9:32 AM ET
Our government missed the opportunity yesterday to cast a large net over the illegals and ship them back where they belong. As far as the jobs that no one wants, give the jobs to those on welfare, i.e. have them work like the rest of us for their money.
Posted By Anonymous Marilyn St. Matthews SC : 9:40 AM ET
I really hope that some of the people who are writing the nasty comments on this blog are willing to quit their jobs and take up some of the illegal immigrant's jobs. If you are worried about them stealing your job, are you a tomato picker? Illegal immigration is a tricky topic...it's not as easy as some think for people to get legalized, some wait for years... My question is, what is the difference between the proposed Mexican "Guest Worker" status, and the passport status that authorizes Europeans to work in the US? If you are worried about immigrant workers not paying into the system, why not set it up so they can receive a legal paycheck and have taxes taken out just like you or I do? You guys go ahead and boycott businesses that closed yesterday - it just means that the rest of us won't have to wait in line with you.
Posted By Anonymous Zephyr Austin, TX : 9:45 AM ET
I hope Mr. Maintland of "Top of the Hill" loses far more than the $12,000 in sales. I hope he loses the respect of all the people who supported his business in the past. Let`s let these businesses know what a REAL boycott is, and the power that that the LEGAL citizens of this country have!
Posted By Anonymous Christopher Miller, Tamaqua, PA : 9:50 AM ET
There are almost always two sides to the issue. What IS at issue are many good hard-working people who WANT to be legal, who WANT a green card and WANT citizenship legally. However, it's not easy to get. Thank goodness someone didn't tell my ancestors they couldn't live here, because I wouldn't be here. However, I do NOT believe anyone should get welfare or Medicaid unless they are citizens. Shame on us for letting this happen. If I were poor and went to a country that would provide my family with food and health insurance, you bet I'd take it. We should not be providing these services to non-citizens....Still, let's let people who are hard working and WANT to work come here and enjoy the freedoms we do!
Posted By Anonymous M. Cohn, Havelock, North Carolina : 9:52 AM ET
Like many others in this chat I take great pleasure in pointing out that this issue is not about immigration it's about illegal immigration. I, like a majority of other citizens am part of a family that for the most part immigrated here, my great grandfather came over from Ireland and he worked hard to do so and he of course did so legally. It is an honor to live in a country that so many wish to be a part of but the fact of the matter is that those who come over illegaly and usurp our tax dollars and other resources are spitting on all that America stands for by doing so. In every way you look at it the American dream requires hard work to achieve, so that means you may have to take the time to do the paper work to come over and live it. For that I am not sorry. As far as I am concerned the US government should get some proper officials together and be walking the streets that these so called "Immigrants Protest" are occurring on and start checking for porper documentation. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel and help to accomplish the work that needs to be done. We aren't saying no one can come on over here and work hard along side us we just want you to sign the guest book on the way in so that your hardwork can profit everyone as our hard work in building this beautiful nation has been able to profit you.
Posted By Anonymous Jessica Morgan, Ft. Worth, Texas : 2:29 PM ET
How sad to see how ignorant and selfish the american people have become! The indians that live in the reservations now, were displaced by the illegal immigrants that came to this country many centuries ago and created this obsolete Immigration and Naturalization Office, that takes forever to process an application. How does any one of us dare to critize what these people are trying to achieve? Just because we came first, does not give us the right to denied that opportunity to others. This is a country of immigrants, lets put all this hate to one side and help these people achieve the american dream. Live and let live, there is plenty of space for everyone that wants to work and make a decent living.
Posted By Anonymous Rachel, Miami, FL : 2:40 PM ET
Wow, this is one of the best posts I've ever read.
Posted By Anonymous Gideon, Buffalo, NY : 2:59 PM ET
Boycott? What boycott? Here in Tucson,AZ all the news covered was four Mexican restaurants not open. Other than that everything was business as usual. Over the last two weeks, we've had two major accidents involving illegals with 12 having major injuries using our ICU's and emergency room funds. This has to stop.
Posted By Anonymous D. Tucson,AZ : 4:03 PM ET
I'm very sad to read the comments that some people wrote down. I came to this country when I was 12 years old from Mexico, my mom came in the 80's and worked very hard in the fields. The reason she came was to work hard an make some money because my dad was sick of cancer and leukemia and we were so litle even that we want to work to help my mom there was no job.
My dad died and we had nothing. we had lost our small house had nothing to eat, so my mom made a very hard decision of bringing us here illegally, she wanted to do the right way but she was told we needed to wait for so many years. Wich was imposible for her to leave us in Mexico so we crossed the border and here we are. we have worked ever since paying taxes jow? out of our paychecks. yes. the money that is deducting from us such as:social security, federal income tax, medicare and state tax. where the money goes from millioms of illegals? are we going to get social security benefits when we get older? no. so we are not asking or begging for money we work and work hard. we dont take american jobs, we take vacant jobs. Jobs that american dont want. so please stop hating us.
Posted By Anonymous mary morales wilmington north carolina : 4:21 PM ET
A question to George Martinez of Lancaster, CA. What culture and cosmetic make up are you reffering to in the conlusion you made in your comment? America has no culture that it can genuinely call its own. Instead, she has adopted various cultures from all over the world, blending it all into this beautiful blend we call America today. As much as I hate to imagine so, I'm hoping you weren't showing some prejudice in your statement.
Posted By Anonymous Tim, Columbia VA : 4:32 PM ET
When you read article's like this one you have to look at the person making the comment. Sure he wants the immigrants legalized, it helps his bottom line. Cheap wages! Whatever happened to school kids here working for extra money for insurance and money for college tuition?
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania : 5:09 PM ET
This is probably one of the best blogs I have ever read and actually makes the distinction between illegal immigration and legal immigration. And where someone got the idea that illegal aliens actually pay taxes and for healthcare is beyond me. But you have to admit, illegal aliens take some of the worst jobs man ever created.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Arlington, TX : 6:51 PM ET
Man Karl Rove is good. This looks just like the blogs on abortion and gay marraige and the pledge and every other issue that the politicians rely on PREJUDICE to run for office. We will all bicker and fight over who believes what and they will use our hatred and anger against us. The Feds will do nothing as usual except make statements about a Spanish National Anthem and other meaningless points to the issue. Don't get me wrong, I STRONGLY feel we should address this issue but ask all of yourselves this...Why has this issue suddenly com to the front? Why has absolutely NOTHING been done or said in the previous six years? Fact is recent headlines have been DOMINATED by stories of corruption (see the Libby or Abramoff cases for starters), rising Gas Prices, the Global Warming epidemic, and the introduction of impeachment articles in the House. ALL are stories that will destroy the Republican chances at Congressional re-election in November. Now add to all of this that Karl Rove was recently 'demoted' and put back in charge of election policy and is it really a surprise that we are all being divided again? C'mon people! Have we not learned anything? This will play out the same way as the issues before. The Feds will do nothing but incite anger in the people. The responsibility will be passed on to the Local Governments and States and the Congressmen will run on the issue. They will work the anger and predjudice against us all to get re-elected and then drop the issue in favor of whatever else they can find to work us all up over. In the meantime the headlines will shift from damaging stories to dividing ones and we will all fight amongst ourselves while they do whatever they want. WAKE UP PEOPLE!
Posted By Anonymous Toby - Lincoln, Nebraska : 2:58 PM ET
How about we make any future illegal immigration illegal for real.
Posted By Anonymous John Davis-Cumberland,Maryland : 5:38 PM ET
Great comments all, but the most important thing to emphasize, and should resonate with the protestors, is to let your senators and congressman know how you feel; otherwise the great amnesty of this decade is going to happen. The most important "political currency" as Dubya likes to say, is YOUR VOTE! If your representatives don't know how you feel, i.e. you let them know by fax, phone or letter, they think you agree with whatever they vote for!
Posted By Anonymous Jackie Czarzasty, Phoenix, AZ : 2:23 AM ET
As some have said, we are all immigrants, which is true but that is not the issue: The issue is ILLEGAL immigration. Legal immigrants are welcome, ILLEGAL immigrants are not.

Everything being done by ILLEGAL immigrants can just as well be done by legal immigrants.

Send the illegals home.
Posted By Anonymous Henry Santana, Fillmore, CA : 6:47 PM ET
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