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Who's Behind the Immigration Rallies? By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 29, 2006


BIG CORPORATIONS AND THE FAR-LEFT HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON: both like to employ cheap illegal immigrants to do their heavy lifting.

The leftist media have tried to portray this weekend’s massive protests against House measures to curtail illegal immigration as the uprising of “The Other America”: forgotten, humble, hidden Hispanic members of the working poor simply demanding their “rights.” As events spanned from California to Detroit, Phoenix to Washington, D.C., the media kept up its anti-enforcement drumbeat. Although some have credited Latino DJs for the 500,000-strong illegal immigrant turnout in Los Angeles alone – and some credit is deserved – the real legwork was done by a more eclectic group of organizations: leftist labor unions, George Soros-funded agitators, Open Borders lobbyists, Roman Catholic clergy, and teachers unions.

 

Los Angeles

 

Los Angeles predictably had the largest turnout – and the most disruptive. Half-a-million people crowded the streets demanding the “right” to flaunt this nation’s immigration laws, and underage students ran onto a California freeway, risking their lives and shutting down interstate traffic.

 

Andres Jiminez, director of the University of California's California Policy Research Center, told the media, “It's not only Latinos who are marching in the streets, its unions too: firefighters, farm workers and Hispanic students who had thought of U.S. law as protecting them and are now starting to see it as a threat to their future.”

 

He was right about this much: Latino organizations did not act alone. The media has failed to report that organized labor directed the illegals and minors. The L.A. Times revealed the rally’s “security” was handled by a union identified only as “Local 1877.” That would be local 1877 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the far-Left union founded by New Left radical Andrew Stern, which called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq in June 2004 and worked in concert with Ted Kennedy to roll back anti-terrorist Homeland Security measures. According to the L.A. Times, the SEIU’s goons kindly helped “herd marchers along the route.” That was not the extent of SEIU’s help, though. The union also “coordinated the more than 100 buses that dropped off marchers from throughout California, Las Vegas and a few Southwestern cities.

 

In other words, the massive rally against Homeland Security – since that is what gaining control of America’s borders would promote – was staged by a leftist labor union and staffed primarily with illegal immigrants.

 

SEIU did not work alone in this. It was aided by other radical or left-wing political pressure groups, including:

 

·        Southern California Human Rights Network (SCHRN), whose members are apparently affiliated with the International Socialist Organization. SCHRN drafted a resolution in Orange County declaring, “We believe that no human is illegal and oppose the criminalization, dehumanization, and exploitation of migrants, immigrants and or economic and political refugees, by means of media, legislation, ideology, rhetoric, etc. [This] includes augmenting border patrol units, commissioning other law enforcement agencies to work in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and [includes] such policies as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and other policies that exploit the indigenous, peasantry, and environments of countries abroad.” In other words, capitalism and any form of immigration laws are exploitative.

·        Pomona Day Labor Center, which helps employers hire “day laborers.” One must presume this organization knows its employees are illegals.

·        Central American Resource Center, which advocates for illegals and lobbies for the government to make a “‘presumption’ of hardship” for and grant “permanent residency” to Central American illegals.

·        Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), founded in 1986 to “get as many people as possible through the amnesty program established” by Ronald Reagan.

 

The cause is being helped in another way by the Los Angeles Unified School District – where more than 25,000 walked out of classes: through taxpayer-subsidized lobbying courses. According to the district, students “would remain in their home rooms through the day for discussions on the immigration issue, how to influence lawmakers and the consequences of walkouts, said Rowena Lagrosa, executive officer for educational service.” (Emphasis added.)

 

Michelle Malkin obtained a copy of a letter Lagrosa wrote Monday to the students of the school district stating LAUSD would chauffer students to high school after they protested on the freeway. The letter states after the rally, the district “will provide buses to return students to schools when appropriate.”  Moreover, “we will do everything we can to ensure that those students who do leave the campus are supervised as they leave the campus.”

 

Naturally, the leftist groups, illegals, and teachers unions could count on the media to cover for them. Mickey Kaus pointed out in Slate that the L.A. Times wrapped the protestors in the American flag, erasing all references to the Mexican standard, although the Mexican flag was hoisted at least as often in the crowd as Old Glory.

 

Gone from the media coverage, too, was mention that these protests had all the hallmarks of leftist riots of bygone days. Although depicted as nonviolent and mainstream, FrontPage Magazine columnist Tammy Bruce noted Hispanic protestors burned American flags at the L.A. rallies. Michelle Malkin has preserved some of the protestors’ other extremist messages. L.A. protestors ran onto freeways and threw rocks and bottles. LAPD Chief William Bratton – who put his men on tactical alert – said the protestors diverted police resources from fighting crime in the City of Angels. Fights broke out at protests in Watsonville, CA, and police arrested 21 minors and three adults for riotous behavior, including assaulting a police officer, in Escondido, CA.

 

D.C.: “Clergy” Against the Law

 

On Monday, the “mainstream media” reported some 300 clergy met near the Capitol for a prayer service to support illegal immigrants. The rally flyer claims these concerns sacerdotal ministers objected to legislation that would “Deny basic civil rights to immigrants.” No outlet reported this meeting was organized by the far-Left Center for Community Change, a member of the United for Peace and Justice coalition, headed by atheist and Marxist Leslie Cagan. On the CCC Board of Directors are:

 

  • Former Rep. Ron Dellums, D-CA, the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee 1993-7. A letter written by a Dellums staffer to Grenada’s Marxist dictator discovered by U.S. troops as they liberated the island stated besides that toppled Marxist, “The only other person that I know of that [Dellums] expresses such admiration for is Fidel [Castro]”;
  • Cecelia Munoz, VP of the National Council of La Raza;
  • Sara K. Gould of the Ms. Foundation for Women;
  • Peter Edelman, a professor at Georgetown Law School, former Clinton administration official, and board president of the New Israel Fund. Today, he is perhaps best known as the husband of Hillary Clinton mentor Marian Wright Edelman. ; and
  • Sandra L. Ferniza, Arizona State University’s director of the Office of Public Affairs.

CCC is generously funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.

 

Other event sponsors include:

 

  • Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). A large, sometimes violent leftist organization with a history of invading welfare offices and intimidating left-wing groups it perceives as “rivals.” In 2003, the group supported a resolution condemning the U.S. liberation of Iraq. ACORN’s would-be platform calls for the establishment of socialism in the United States. It founded the socialist Working Families Party in 1998 and endorsed Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign two years later.
  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Although it has long presented itself as a benign Quaker organization, the AFSC has a multi-decade history of supporting unilateral disarmament and aiding Communist regimes, even eulogizing the head of a Tanzanian Communist party 13 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. AFSC signed a document days after 9/11, saying the terrorist attacks should be treated as a police matter. It has for decades promoted the “rights” of illegal workers.
  • League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Steve Brown and Chris Coon reported, “José Velez, the head of LULAC 1990-1994 used his “special status with the INS” to submit false papers for over 6,000 illegals seeking amnesty.  LULAC is today associated with race-based Affirmative Action programs and often allied with Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.
  • Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. As I noted in my book, 57 Varieties of Radical Causes, Teresa Heinz Kerry awarded a Heinz Family Foundation grant to MIRA. In June 2002, MIRA instructed its members, “Please do NOT aid people in applying with INS unless you are familiar with their immigration history and are certain they would not be at risk of deportation by doing so.” (Emphasis theirs.) Immediately after 9/11 a MIRA press release asked people to “Refer local Arab, Muslim, and affected groups to MIRA.” They also advocate for illegals to receive in-state college tuition rates.
  • National Council of La Raza, a race-based organization that signed the Statement of Solidarity with Migrants,” calling on the government to recognize the contributions of illegal immigrants to the labor market. It calls reduced welfare payments (to illegals), ““a disgrace to American values” and has firmly opposed numerous Homeland Security measures; and
  • The Gamaliel Foundation, a leftist organization inspired by Saul Alinsky. In addition to lobbying for illegal aliens, this member of the “Religious Left” hosted a campaign event in 2003 featuring Sen, Russ Feingold, D-WI, and then-presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

The event was another attempt for the Left to wrap its message in clerical garb, this time executed successfully.

 

Phoenix

 

Also on Monday, several hundred underage students in Phoenix staged a walkout that culminated with protests at the state Capitol. Underreported was the role played in the rallies by MEChA, a radical Hispanic organization demanding the U.S. government give the Southwestern portion of the United States “back” to Mexican-Americans for the establishment of a new state called Aztlan. MEChA promotes its agenda alongside the National Council of La Raza, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), and the American Friends Service Committee.

 

A sense of MEChA-like entitlement pervaded the entire rally, as an illegal alien told the media:

 

I'm not a criminal. I'm a good person and I deserve a quality education. That's why I'm here. To show that I'm willing to work toward that goal and that I've earned that right.

 

She did not elaborate on how she “earned” the “right” to illegally cross the border and access taxpayer-subsidized services restricted to U.S. citizens.

 

Georgia

 

Last Friday, tens of thousand of Georgians, including not a few illegals, staged a “sick-in” to protest a bill that passed the state house the day before. CNN reported, “That bill, which has yet to gain Senate approval, would deny state services to adults living in the U.S. illegally and impose a five percent surcharge on wire transfers from illegal immigrants.” Not only do immigrants have the “right” to live in Georgia illegally and collect government services, they also have the “right” to use Western Union without paying an extra five cents on the dollar. That’s some willingness to contribute to one’s home country. These are supposedly the minority members willing to work tirelessly to help their host country at jobs no one wants.

 

FrontPage Magazine columnist Allan Wall – whose National Guard brigade recently returned from serving our country in Iraq – has pointed out the Georgia protest’s organizer, Teodoro Maus, acted as Mexico’s consul general in Atlanta for 12 years. During that time, this Mexican government official protested Georgia’s declaration of English as the state’s official language, opposed a talk show host who supported border enforcement, and petitioned the Peach State to issue drivers licenses to illegals. Maus’ involvement raises the question whether Friday’s unofficial labor strike had the sanction of the Mexican government.

 

Dallas-Ft. Worth

 

Yesterday, area school districts estimated 4,000 students walked out in Dallas-Ft. Worth alone, staging a violent and disruptive rally to sanctify their illicit status.

 

Media accounts specify: “At Kiest Park, about 1,500 students from Dallas and Grand Prairie schools demonstrated. Dallas police outfitted in riot gear moved in on the crowd after some of the students started throwing rocks and bottles at a woman who staged a one-person counterprotest.” (Emphasis ours.)

 

Protestor Francisco Rojas, speaking in Spanish, told The Dallas Morning News, “It's like an animal that's waking from many years of sleep. We are very strong, and right now is our opportunity.

 

These minor students then processed into a city council meeting, waving Mexican and El Salvadoran flags. To her credit, Councilwoman Elba Garcia courageously commandeered a police PA system to tell the truants to go back to school (where Dallas school officials said this week’s walkouts will be an unexcused absence).The warning came too late for one girl, whose hand was severed as a result of an accident that took place at the walkout.

 

Undeterred by the violence and harm done to their children’s education, leaders in the Open Borders Lobby set out plotting their next move. “At a dinner meeting of the Latino group LULAC, leaders announced a major rally on April 9. ‘We are going to be having, hopefully it will be the largest civil rights demonstration in the history of Dallas, Texas – 100,000-plus,’ said LULAC representative Domingo Garcia. 

 

No word on how many lone women will be battered the next time Mexican citizens exercise American First Amendment rights.

 

The Impact

 

These massive gatherings of illegals, who denounced their government unmolested by police or immigration officials, had an immediate impact – on legislation and on border security.

 

Reporter Sara Carter of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin says since these protests, border patrol agents have reported an explosion in illegal crossings from Mexicans (and others) keenly observing the Senate debate and emboldened by same. Some were under the impression amnesty had already been granted and hoped to be the first to take part in the second California Gold Rush. [1]

 

The rallies had a political impact, too. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-CO, stated on Monday:

 

The immigration rallies over this weekend and today show how disordered our immigration system has become. For years, the government has turned a blind eye to illegal aliens who break into this country. It isn’t any wonder that illegal aliens now act as if they are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship.

 

As a sign of their political impact, Republicans immediately began discussing the potential threat their political careers face from an Hispanic backlash, should they have the temerity to pretend the United States is a sovereign nation with definable political boundaries.

 

Leftists and illegals began their massive protest – because they saw U.S. law “as a threat to their future” – the same day the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that would allow illegals to attain American citizenship without facing deportation by a 12-6 vote. John McCain joined forces with Ted Kennedy to promote this amnesty measure. “It is not amnesty,” said Ted Kennedy, who has a 41-year history of fibbing about immigration bills.

 

The Judiciary Committee yesterday approved Dick Durbin’s amendment granting amnesty to individuals and non-profits that provide non-emergency aid to illegal immigrants. The committee had previously approved Durbin’s amendment to drop illegal immigration to a misdemeanor offense.

 

These measures are at odds with the will of the American people. According to the Associated Press, 59 percent of Americans oppose laws allowing illegal immigrants to apply for guest worker status, and 62 percent oppose easing the path to U.S. citizenship for those who are here illegally.

 

Americans know illegal immigrants account for nearly one-third of all inmates in federal prisons and add millions of dollars to their tax load every year. Even Mother Jones magazine exposed the health dangers posed to border towns throughout America, as a result of uninsured illegals bankrupting local hospitals – six years ago.

 

Americans cannot comprehend why Congress feels a need to add a guest worker program to mollify these disruptive, violent, lawbreaking protestors, who are occasionally political radicals and overwhelmingly individuals who are in violation of U.S. immigration law. What makes Congressmen think those whose first action in this country was to break the law will suddenly obey their newest futile measure?

 

These illegals claimed they marched to demand their “rights.” Those would amount to the right to a speedy trial, followed by rapid deportation. Illegal aliens have no additional rights under our Constitutional system, nor should they be given any. A more inspired leadership, with a requisite number of border patrol agents and paddy wagons, would have made these massive rallies an instructive object lesson in the enforcement of immigration law. Instead, political cowardice has transformed them into international exhibits of American impotence and paralysis.

 

ENDNOTES:

1. “Scarborough Country,” MSNBC. March 28, 2006.


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry's Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charitable Giving (2004).


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