Immigration Reform Rallies Across U.S.

Unity March, Saipan, CNMI ©2007 W. L. Doromal

May 2, 2008

What the Civil Rights Movement was to the 1960's, the Immigration Rights Movement will be to this decade. The United States government will be pressured to make moral and ethical decisions with regard to the thousands of legal and illegal immigrants, and their U.S. citizen children who reside in the United States.

Already this movement has shaded how the CNMI federal immigration legislation was drafted. When I pleaded for green card status to congressional staffers, representatives and DOI officials last spring and summer, I was told that the legislation would never pass if it contained such a provision, because of the heated immigration debate in the U.S. Even the FAS status provision was eventually removed. I was told that the guest workers' status would be a "second step."

Yesterday hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched and rallied in Chicago, Los Angles, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Denver, Detroit, Tucson, Houston, Washington, D.C., New York City, and other American cities. They took to the streets on May Day to protest immigration policies, raids, and deportations. CNN reported:

"In New York, hundreds of sign-carrying protesters gathered in Union Square, preparing for a march toward Foley Square in downtown Manhattan.

"We are demanding that the raids and deportations stop," said Teresa Gutierrez, one of the organizers for the New York rallies.

"We are for the rights of all immigrants, whether they're documented or not," she said."

The marchers carried signs, American flags, and flags from their countries. The AP reported:

"People have been stopped and deported in the last week. This is a community living in fear," said Veranes, a researcher for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. "You never know when you're going to be stopped by Border Patrol and now the police."

But she said that's also why people were marching.

"We're marching to end the raids and the deportations, but we're also marching for health care and education and good jobs," she said."

The movement for immigration reform and social justice for the millions of immigrant workers on U.S. soil will be growing. It's an issue that will not go away until it is properly addressed.

The immigration rally in Los Angeles: