We are back in Los Angeles for the May Day protests. Exactly one year ago today, I was downtown, on the corner of Wilshire and La Brea, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people. Many of them were illegal immigrants and their supporters. Some demanded sweeping reforms. Others wanted amnesty or a legal road to citizenship.
Their voices were heard. Their faces were seen. And for one day, millions who live in the shadows stepped into the light. While there will be marches today, the motivation to hit the streets may not be the same. Much of that has to do with fear.
Illegal immigrants who choose to speak out could risk immediate deportation. Since last year, more than 200,000 illegal immigrants have been removed from the United States, an increase of 20 percent over the year before, according to the New York Times.
There is also anger in the air, as just about everyone in this debate seems to be upset with our government. After last year's demonstrations, Congress seemed poised to pass legislation on illegal immigration. But nothing happened.
Of course, last year's demonstration came in the middle of the mid-term elections. There was pressure then to act or at least to act like you might act. Now, even though we are in the early days of a presidential campaign, that pressure is not the same -- not yet anyway.
Tonight, we are going to devote much of the program to the immigration issue. I'll be in Macarthur Park, the sight of one of the largest rallies in the city.
Besides covering the protests, we will also have reports from the Texas border, where arrests are dramatically down this year. We'll also have a live report from San Diego, at one of the busiest border checkpoints in the nation. See you tonight.
-- By Anderson Cooper