A nationwide day of boycotts and marches planned for
May 1 will flood the country’s streets with Latinos demanding amnesty
and legalization for undocumented workers. “We’re going to close down
Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Tucson, Phoenix, Fresno,” says a
These protests will be even larger than the last wave of nation-wide immigration protests. The sleeping giant made of the millions of undocumented workers, their families, friends, relatives and supporters are not backing down, and are making their demands clear. They want legalization for all undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
And so the second civil rights movement has already begun.
This time the descrimination is directed toward those whom many hold are not part of our ‘nation’ at all, being illegally in the country. Consider though that for most of American history there was no legal and illegal immigration; people simply came and fit in as best they could.
The largest question in my mind is whether sheer numbers will be enough to persuade most Americans of the justice of the immigrant cause, or whether a deeper human rights argument must be won before the majority of Americans accept the justice of the cause.
Certainly, there will always be a faction that simply hates without reason or cause and no matter the moral claims those who are descriminated against advance, but they are just the reactionaries – the equivalent of the Dixiecrats, politically and morally – and they will not determine the outcome of this struggle. Those who convince the sensible majority Americans of the rightness and morality of their cause will ultimately decide what vision of the future becomes America’s new immigration law.