Este Es Un Hilo Abierto: Immigration Protest Open Thread


Today, April 10, has been designated a “National Day of Action” by labor, immigration, civil rights and religious groups as they continue to seek to shape the national debate on immigration.

Of course, you might not know about the protests if you read the Tribune- their banner stories on the website this morning are such hard-hitting news items such as “Pit Bull Bites Baby,” “Does doc’s brain belong to Castro?,” and “Suit targets circus elephants.” Because nothing presents a greater threat to America today than circus elephants- they’re the only group willing to work for less than immigrants.

The Sun-Times does slightly better, placing the news item above the fold, but the article fails to mention any of the protests scheduled for today in Chicago.

Through the website I was able to find a bit of info on today’s protests– here’s what’s planned in Illinois. The previous recent protests were largely organized via text message and MySpace, but I’m not cool enough to have a vast MySpace network of friends, so maybe you can tell me what’s crackalackin’ on MySpace today regarding the protests.

Are you planning on attending a protest? Do you have photos? Care to sound off on the immigration issue in general? Perhaps you have a brilliant and sensible proposal that can garner not only bipartisan support in Congress but the support of the American citizenry and immigrants. If so, let us know. Tell us what you think. My two cents can be found here.

14 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    Well Chicago, your silence is deafening! Do you really expect me to believe you have no opinion on the matter? Or maybe every single one of you were out yesterday protesting, and sleeping in today? Somehow I doubt that too.

    If you remain silent, important issues such as this will be decided by the zealots. Is that what you want? Speak up and be heard!

  2. Marty (unregistered) on April 11th, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    The House Bill is Draconian; the concept of Fortress America is a right wing pipe dream.

    My guess about the silence is simple: Chicago is too busy to care. It doesn’t matter that we have a very high immigrant population or that this issue effects each and every one of us here. We are too busy to take notice.

  3. sailor (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

    The problem with all of this is that it misses the point entirely.
    The problem is: people are entering the country illegally, terrotists could enter the country, criminals could enter the country.
    The solution is:
    We need to stop the illegal traffic coming over the border! period!
    No matter how rightwing, ridiculus or impossible you may think it may be, some sort of barrier needs to be implemented. Whether it is a wall, electronic devices or immigration officials.

    Anyone who thinks that we should give these ILLEGAL immigrants amnesty is a fool. The next wave will be coming, and will get into the US and stay till they too get amnesty. The border needs to be controled, what is so hard to understand about that?

    Don’t be driven by politics on this, think about it. There is a problem and we are not addressing it!

  4. nikkos (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 3:34 pm


    There are, as you point out, 2 issues:

    1.) How to “control” the border in order to ensure terrorists and their ilk do not gain entry,


    2.) What to do, from a policy standpoint, in regards to the illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.

    As for #1, I am willing to listen to any suggestions you may proffer. As I have stated in numerous places, I do not believe a wall or fence, no matter how high, can keep immigrants out. I am not convinced that the border CAN be controlled, unless we are to implement draconian measures which will erode the very nature of American democracy itself.

    Can you offer a solution that does not require men with guns? If not, then is it really I that am the “fool?”

    As for terrorists, they have demonstrated they need not cross the U.S. border in order to gain entry into our country. None of the 9.11 hijackers, for instance, crossed the US/Mexico border- legally or illegally. They simply flew in on visas, issued by our very own government. To turn one of the Bush administration’s favorite retorts on its head: securing the borders would NOT have prevented 9.11. In fact, if memory serves, the man arrested way back on New Year’s Eve 2001 (the so-called “Millennium Plot”)was driving into the U.S. via Canada. He was apprehended. And yet I hear no conservative voices- or any voices really- crying out that the border between the U.S. and Canada must be hardened.

    Once you consider that fact, it does make one question the real motives of those who desire to felonize illegal immigration (a la the Sensenbrenner legislation), who wish to build walls and fences at the border and man them with armed guards, who wish to hunt down and round up the immigrants whom are currently within our borders.

    As for #2, I believe, as I have stated here and elsewhere, that we need to amend our laws in order to encourage legal immigration. Will more immigrants then come to the U.S.? Of course. Why do you assume that’s a bad thing? Do you make a distinctin between illegal immigrants, immigrants and terrorists?

  5. sailor (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 11:18 am

    You still miss the point…consider a wall to stop illegal immigrants. I know how this will be twisted into some type of isolationist, anti-immigrant, evil right wing, draconian measure, however it is the only valid method. You need to understand that there are doors in that wall for the legal immigrants to come through.
    You also miss the point when you say that no 911 terrorists came into the country through the border with Mexico. I think you meant to say no identified terrorist came through that border. Considering what we do know, it would make good sense to watch/protect the places where people are entering this country illeagally.
    As is common with these type arguments, you brought up Canada and why there is not heightened
    security there? Well the easiest answer is that their security is far better than Mexico’s. We trust them to maintian airports and other points of entry. I am not aware of a huge influx of illegal immigrants from Cananda.

    Don’t mix common sense with politics. We can’t leave our borders open and unprotected, not in this day and age. If someone whats to live in our country they NEED to follow OUR laws. Democracy is not something to be given, it is earned.

  6. sailor (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 11:45 am

    Oh yeah, what are the real motives of the Sensenbrenner legislation?
    You didn’t really say what you thought the real motive of that legislation was…I suspect it is to make what is ALREADY a crime a crime we PUNISH.
    YES I am talking about ILLEGAL immigrants.

    Don’t use what you “think might be the reason” or “feels like it is the reason is” …you are letting emotion make your decisions for you instead of your mind.

    The border situation will not get better if we leave it alone. Doing it without “men with guns” is impossible. Maybe we should not let police carry guns, and teach them negotiation skills…this will stop crime (pipe dream?).

    I don’t think anyone is going to get Visa’s anymore without a thorough check. So what do you think will be the next way into the US? The unprotected border with Mexico? Do you remember how the hijackers took control of the planes? They used box cutter knives, something I bet they could still get through security at most airports(plastic knives, ceramic knives). There is so much people have just forgotten or ignore when they talk about these issues. We need to use what we already know in order to see these issues clearly.

  7. nikkos (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

    The real motive of the Sensenbrenner legislation is to:

    – Provide an issue which Republicans can run on in the upcoming 06 midterms.

    – This issue can also serve as a ditraction from the actual track record of five yars of Republican “government,” a list of which is simply too long to replay here, but suffice to say would include Afghanistan, Iraq, Katrina, etc., none of which are winnig issues for the GOP right now.

    – This is accmoplished by whipping up nativist emotion and anti-immigrant paranoia, which is then conlfated with post-9.11 paranoia. Divide and conquer is the GOP election mantra- whether it’s the “War on Terra,” gay marriage, or any other number of issues, the GOP seeks to divide Americans based on fear, not on reason.

    – Immigration also plays to the racist base of the Republican party in that it, albeit in coded terms (e.g., “the rule of law”) seeks to essentially “put the Mexicans in their place.”

    For more of my thoughts on imigration, please visit:

    “Fear of a Moreno Planet”

    “a few more thoughts on immigration…”

  8. sailor (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    Thats what I thought you would say…
    I find it odd that not one of your reasons discuss the need to stop ILLEGAL immigration. That IS the reason for it.
    So I guess you don’t care who comes into the US illegally? You would rather twist long ovedue legislation into a hate filled, racist attack on immigrants, instigated by the consevative right to punish Mexicans.
    You say it is distraction from other issues such as Afganistan, Iraq, and Katrina. The flip flopping democrats were for the war when it helped their quest for votes and now against for the same reasons (this is not a way to win either)
    Katrina…you have the gall to raise katina? Mayor Nagin did such a wonderful job…Gov Blanco too…you need to really look at those on the frontline and how they have been raping New Orleans for years and ignoring what everyone there knew was going to happen someday. You would think the mayor or Gov would have had a little more of a plan to evacuate the numerous poor and elderly.
    Oh, Yeah conservatives are all racist, hatefilled warmongers…blah..blah..blah.

    Once again have you ever had an original thought?
    Or do you and your liberal buddies sit around and think of the next way you can smear someone that opposes your agenda? I am still wonder what your agenda is…you have not given one solution nor offered any intelligent discussion on the original
    Hate, fear mongering, racism all seem to be your driving force except that it is in you, not others…

  9. Danny Doom (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 1:53 pm

    just reading this thread for the first time… i think the worst kind of policy is made when people are scared (see Patriot Act) and Sailor, you sound real scared. i’m not sure if you’re scared of people who don’t look like you or think like you, but i smell lots of fear.

    Putting up walls and hiding behind guns should not be the American way of dealing with this problem.

    “I know how this will be twisted into some type of isolationist, anti-immigrant, evil right wing, draconian measure.”

    no need to twist it. you said it. it simply is.

  10. nikkos (unregistered) on April 18th, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

    Danny, thanks for your comment. You are dead-on. What is it that you fear, Sailor?

    You asked for a policy proposal, well, here it is:

    1.) Amnesty for illegal immigrants currently within the U.S.

    How it works:
    Each individual would need to submit to a background check to determine whether or not they have a violent criminal past (I’m not talking about jaywalking, and no, by “criminal past” I’m not referring to their illegal crossing of the border. I am referring to serious crimes- violent crimes, sexual crimes, etc.- the kind of crimes the average American would agree are the sort which should bar one from citizenship.

    2.) For those granted amnesty, as well a those that desire to become citizens that are not yet here in the U.S., we need to create a clear path to citizenship.

    How it works:
    I am not interested in a “guest worker” program. I am interested in creating a path to citizenship to those that seek it and can meet certain requirements. Requirements would include, again, a criminal background check, mandatory instruction in American civics, English and perhaps some basic instruction on how our economic system works. Basically, teach them what it means to be an American citizen; the benefits and the responsibilities that entails.

    3.) Sensible Legislation
    How it works:
    Amend the current immigration laws so that people are more inclined to work within the system rather than work around the system.

    4.) Stepped-up interdiction at the borders. Note that’s plural, as in the northern and the southern border.

    How it works:
    I am not advocating men wioth guns atop walls. I am advocating that once the immigration laws make sense, people will have less incentive to subvert them, and more incentive to play within the rules of the system. Therefore, no men with guns atop walls required- just clearly marked border stations where visas and other documents would be checked and verified.

    5.) Greater cooperation with Mexico to help alleviate the supply of those who wish to flee their home country.

    6.) Enforcement
    How it works: Once the immigration laws are amended to something that is sensible, these laws should be enforced. That includes prosecuting companies and business owners that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

    7.) Criminal prosecution of all Republican party members.

    How it works: Just kidding. Wanted to see if you’d actually read this far.

  11. Danny Doom (unregistered) on April 19th, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    it’s funny, the dead silence that follows a sound and rational proposal. i guess this ship has sailed…

  12. nikkos (unregistered) on April 20th, 2006 @ 8:54 am

    Yep, and the funny thing is that my proposal is not airtight- I could easily debate against it.

    But then again, this isn’t really about a fair, honest echange of ideas, now is it?

  13. Jeff (unregistered) on April 30th, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

    Came across this blog by accident, wanted to share a few of my own thoughts.

    Wether it is fear or not, Sailor has a right to his opinions. I think something needs to be done to control the illegal immigration problem from both borders. Unfortunately the bigger problem comes from the southern border. But the northern border (with Canada) can not be ignored.

    Part of the issue is Mexicans (and others) are crossing the border illegally. It is illegal, we do have the right to confront/control illegal actions here in the US. But, will throwing up huge walls, or having “men with guns” deter that problem? Not likely, it may slow it down, but it won’t end the problem.

    The real issue to look at, is why are they coming? Address the issue of why they cross the border and you’ll reduce the problem of illegal immigration.

    Illegal immigration does pose a tremendous effect on the US. The illegal immigrants who make up the work force can not be ignored. I think we would be hard pressed to continue without the valuable work they do. But it also affects crime, health care, welfare, among other things. Look at the crime rate in California amont illegal immigrants. The constant flow back and forth across the border. Produces a tremendous drain on resources.

    The issue still needs to be address, controlling or limiting the border crossing can lessen the impact of illegal immigration. Working with the Mexican and Canadian governments, reviewing our laws regarding immigration, we can work towards a workable solution to this significant problem.

    For the person who brought up Katrina, shame. I was there, I saw what happened. The blame for the mistakes made do not lay with any one group. The federal government is not the sole bearer of blame. The mayor and governor hold just as much blame as anyone else.

    I think Nikkos has some very good suggestions. Maybe run for office Nikkos, we could use sensible people in office.

  14. nikkos (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 8:30 am

    Jeff, thanks for your comments. And by all means, make your visits to Metroblogging Chicago a more frequent accident.

    “Vote nikkos” does have a nice ring to it, no?

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