May Day In Denver II: Stop The Raids, Amnesty Now!
Scroll for photos, updates--Welcome Michelle Malkin readers! Take a look around--
First up, exclusive video of the entire march:
Michelle Malkin, Bill O'Reilly, and Kirsten Powers talk illegal immigration.
Freedom Folks encountered a hearty moonbat welcome in Chicago.
The immediate goal of the marchers--stop the legal raids!
Fair immigration reform=amnesty.
"We are not immigrants. We're descendants of indigenous people, neither are we criminals. We only want to live and let live! We're also Americans!"
But there is one legal system.
The most sane sign at the march.
Cute sign was pulled down once they realized there was a camera on them. Think you'll see it in the MSM's coverage?
Playing the children card.
Signs from last year made a reappearance.
Lucky? Yes, to be in America! Legal? Yes!
Wanna stop the raids? Stop illegal immigration!
Random peace/love sign of the day.
Teachers for immigrants . . . ahhh! The one finger salute!
Stop the legal raids now!
Mexican flags played prominently.
CBS4's sob story (video).
More of the same from 9NEWS. The agenda? "Reuniting families, clearing immigration backlog, guest worker program," and a moratorium on raids. Workplace raids and the backfire from last year's rallies certainly impacted turnout.
Local media were sure to play the hardship angle in their coverage of today's amnesty/anti-raid illegal immigration march:
For the second year, thousands of immigrant rights supporters took to the streets of Denver for the Immigrant Day of Action, asking for a true, national reform package.The moonbats were out in full force as well:
Denver officers did not expect to have an estimate on this year's crowd until later in the day.
Isla Diaz, 16, who had an American flag wrapped around her shoulders like a cape, said she was originally from Juarez, Mexico, but now, "I feel like I'm a part of this place."
"I feel like I want to stay here," said Diaz, who said she has been in the United States about six years. She declined to discuss her immigration status.
Diaz said she skipped high school to attend the rally.[of course, ed.]
Cabinetmaker Guillermo Gutierrez, 34, marched with his wife, Cecilia Salazar, 35, and carried his youngest child, a 3-year-old daughter. Gutierrez said he and his wife are illegal immigrants but the 3-year-old was a U.S. citizen by birth.
Gutierrez said their lives have become more difficult over the past year as Colorado's tougher new immigration laws took force, requiring proof of citizenship or legal residency to get many services.
He said the license plates on his car are in a friend's name because Gutierrez did not have the documents now required.
"It's like driving someone else's car all the time," said Gutierrez, who, like his wife, was wearing a University of Colorado baseball hat.
Gutierrez said he worries about losing his job because state immigration laws might keep him from getting another in Colorado.
One marcher, David Ward, 50, of Boulder, said he came to support amnesty for immigrant workers. Ward, pastoral associate at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Thornton, said one family that attended the church for years was recently broken up when the husband was deported to Mexico, leaving his American wife alone in the U.S. to raise their four kids.Denver's de facto sanctuary policy mirrors a New Jersey mayor's "don't ask, don't tell" illegal immigration policy.
"We gave (President) Nixon amnesty; we might as well give people who are working hard and honestly amnesty and compassion rather than prejudice," Ward said.
Ana Ortiz, 13, pushing a stroller carrying her 3-month-old sister and walking alongside her mother, Maricela, said she came to fight for the rights of immigrants.
"We want the rights that we deserve," Ana said.
Denver's llegal immigration amnesty/stop the raids now march mirrored those across the country, but illegal immigrants and their advocates don't seem to grasp the illegal part of the immigration problem, which leads to the very legal raids:
"It's very, very important this year to march," said Georgina, who nine years ago crossed the border from Mexico illegally to work in the U.S. "This year it's very necessary because we have to stop the raids and stop the repression.""Moderate" views on immigration reform still include some form of amnesty and lack strong border security. Former Denver Mayor Federico Peña at least grasps part of the problem--decreasing the incentive to immigrate illegally by imposing stiff penalties on employers:
While progress on federal legislation has stalled, last December's Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on Swift meat-packing plants in Greeley and in five other cities have inflamed anxieties in an already vulnerable population.
Julien Ross, a spokesman for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said the march planned today in Denver will focus on the need for legislation to normalize life for the millions of workers already embedded in the economy.
"The raids have created a lot of anger and frustration," he said, "but they also have reinvigorated the community. We need fair immigration reform now. We can no longer allow so many children to be orphaned by these raids."
Peña said the only reasonable, economically feasible solution is for Congress to provide a path for those here illegally to achieve legal status or citizenship by demonstrating competency in English and an understanding of our governmental system, and paying some kind of fine for their illegal entry into the country.Finally, Rep. Tom Tancredo offered his take on today's march:
But then, he said, "we have to draw a line in the sand" and stop illegal immigration.
He proposed developing biometric identification systems for workers, hiring more inspectors to monitor worksites across the country and imposing severe penalties for any employer who hires people here illegally.
"Once word gets out, people won't come here," he said. "If they know no employer will hire them, they won't make the perilous trip to enter the U.S. because it would be a waste of time."
"Every time illegal aliens protest in the streets demanding special treatment, they lose just a little more credibility and support among the people," said Rep. Tom Tancredo, an outspoken critic of the country's immigration policies. "If I had my way, they would continue to hold these marches every month touting their native flags and flouting our laws. Each time Americans see those offensive images on their television sets, it only stiffens their opposition to amnesty and strengthens their resolve in demanding that their government enforce the law."