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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Mistaken for a marcher
I wasn't sure what to expect at the immigration rally today in Washington, D.C. -- how big or how raucous.

But I did make sure to avoid wearing the belt with the colorful weaving I bought in Guatemala. I didn't want to seem like I was a participant instead of a journalist. But the color of my skin falsely betrayed me and I was handed leaflets and signs as I walked through the crowd.

As a Hispanic at these types of events and stories, I take full advantage of being bilingual, doing interviews for both CNN and CNN en Espanol. It's a point of pride for me to have that versatility.

The rally turned out to be a small one, only about 400 people, but colorful and with music. It wasn't angry or vitriolic, but passionate, despite the numbers.

-- By Silvio Carrillo, CNN Producer
Posted By CNN: 5:11 PM ET
  6 Comments
Didn't that bother you, being judged by the color of your skin?

I guess these rallies are so small because the illegal aliens are afraid that they will be caught and deported if they show up. Where is the INS...they should be at all of these rallies gathering up people.
Posted By Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 5:50 PM ET
ICE should be there with empty buses to pick them up and send them back.
It has nothing to do with race, which is unfortunately and shamefully how this has become portrayed. this is about LAWS and BREAKING LAWS. THey are here Illegally, meaning, they did NOT wait in line like the rest of us to get a visa. Instead they walk with impunity.. what a disgrace this country and it's politics have become...
Posted By Christopher, San Jose, CA : 6:24 PM ET
I get handed flyers all the time for causes, nightclubs, concerts, or religions that I have no interest in. Why would that bother me and why is this CNN producer blogging about it. How can anyone be offended for being mistaken for wanting to be part of a cause when they are standing in the midst of all the other people at an event for that cause?

Let's try to logistically figure out how the INS would effectively deport people at one of these events: think about the size of the crowd, how many events are going on in the country, and how many INS agents there are available. Also, how could they pick out who is a citizen and who is not. I am a citizen and I would probably not carry around my wallet to these events (mainly because I am a student who lives on a college campus and rarely has to use his wallet, but there are many others who would avoid carrying their wallets in any large crowd situation.

You can look at my name and I won't be bothered by or get offended when you assume that I am hispanic.

I am a fair skinned hispanic who doesn't get offended when I am mistaken for an anglo.
Posted By Isaias Torres Tucson, AZ : 6:57 PM ET
Chris, Speaking of breaking laws, what about the employers that hire them illegally? Honestly, how are they excluded from such a topic?

These illegal employers are the primary source for this activity.
These employers not only cheat their workers, but each and every one of us. The net result is that these employers have a much more far reaching effect than the actions of one single undocumented immigrant. The focus should be on them, not the immigrants. I doubt we'd see any illegal hires in the public spotlight if the penalty was 15-20yrs in federal prison.

Not to mention the amount of arrests would be much smaller than that of arresting the mass of undocumented workers.

The neglection for the most part of this factor leads me to assume race is a factor in these debates. It is mind boggling why people choose to ignore it completely and focus on the immigrants.
Posted By John (college station) : 8:06 PM ET
If you were suddenly confronted by an ICE agent on the way to work in the morning, could YOU prove that you are a US citizen?
Posted By Gary Dee, Portland, Oregon : 1:56 AM ET
Everyone likes to tag opponents of illegal immigration as racist. But, why must we consider every culture other than our own as more legitimate and more worthy of understanding?

In absorbing 2 million legal immigrants and untold millions of illegals each year, the American public is being asked to absorb an unimaginable amount of cultural change. Our ancestors worked hard to build this country and we have our own internal schisms between caucasians, African-Americans, and Native Americans to overcome. Then, just when we think we're making progress, we have legions of foreign poor to take care of? We don't need this illegal problem, too.

If we want to control immigration and apportion it in a rational manner, then Mexicans should stand in line behind people from Darfur who are being starved and killed by their government. We can't care for everyone and we should allow immigration in a controlled and judicious manner.
Posted By Lee, Atlanta, GA : 10:20 AM ET
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