“All these folks who are here illegally know they can protest brazenly,” [Rep. Tom Tancredo] said. “It’s really a mockery of our immigration system.” He added that the protests make him even more determined to pass a House bill that does not provide for a guest worker program and would build a 700-mile fence along the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Texas Republican John Cornyn, who has supported a temporary worker program but one that requires illegal immigrants to leave the U.S. after working here for six years and apply for citizenship from their native country, said of the protests, “I don’t think they’re helpful,” arguing that they will only inflame the issue.
Mississippi Senator Trent Lott said that protests “make me mad,” particularly when he saw that many of the flags flown at the protest were not red, white and blue, but flags of Mexico and other Latin American countries. “I don’t like it and the American people don’t like it,” he said, adding, “When they act out like that, they lose me.”
“The views of most of the people marching in the streets of L.A. and other cities last weekend bear little or no resemblance to the majority of public opinion in this country when it comes to illegal immigration,” [GOP Pollster David] Winston wrote in a column for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.