From the AP:
On California’s Cesar Chavez Day, 36,000 students from 25 Los Angeles County school districts walked out, officials told a news conference at City Hall, where more than 1,000 protested for much of the day.
“Of course there should be amnesty (for illegal immigrants). We’ve been here for many years. We work hard. We contribute to the economy of the U.S.,” said Belmont High School student Fermin Vasquez, 18.
Six students were chosen to meet with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who then stepped outside and addressed the crowd.
“I want you to know that there are people right now all across the country that agree with you that we need immigration reform that rewards work, that gives people a pathway to citizenship, that allows families to stay together,” Villaraigosa told the crowd.
The “enforcement-only” HR 4437 sparked days of protest in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Washington. Stace has a story on the marches and walkouts in Houston. The Express-News reported an estimated 20,000 people participated in the 10th annual César Chávez march.
Meanwhile, Bush’s radio address sounded almost compassionate albeit futile. The Rs are split. And in the long run how many people are going to sign up for a sure ticket home? Undocumented workers are here for the proverbial American Dream, but Bush and his CEO friends see these individuals as dollar signs. Net gain in labor costs.
All this is probably more than we can say for what Tancredo thinks. He joined Spector on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He promised to vote against any kind of amnesty and laughed when questioned about the criminalization of humanitarian organizations while Spector recalled the stories of his family’s immigration.
Tonight the Senate passed their own version of the bill approving a guest worker program and adopting language to protect “religious groups, women’s shelters and other charity organizations from prosecution for providing medical aid, shelter, food and counseling.”
It also beefs up the Border Patrol:
Senators also voted to hire 12,000 Border Patrol agents over the next five years, more than doubling the size of the agency to 23,300 agents, and adding 2,500 new inspectors at border ports of entry. The bill would also create 10,000 new detention beds, including the use of military installations being shuttered under the base closure law.
Cornyn promises: This is the beginning of what is a long overdue and important debate. Political pundits promise nothing major before the mid-terms.
In related news, CNN reports that GAO investigators used forged documents to purchase “a “small quantity” of radioactive materials from a commercial source while posing as employees of a fictitious company and brought the materials into the United States through checkpoints on the northern and southern borders.” The GAO also thinks the State Department and Department of Homeland Security are doing a poor job watching resources. Does this hint that the entire system might need overhauling? Does it point out the total lack of dialogue concerning our nothern border and the scapegoating of a certain segment of the population?