Monday, May 01, 2006

Update: Immigrants flex economic muscle

Millions push for immigration reform

"No work, no school, no spending."

That was the rallying cry for the "A Day Without Immigrants" rallies that took place across the country on Monday, in which immigrants took to the streets in major cities in a show of solidarity and strength as part of their effort to push Congress to act on stalled immigration reform. Millions of immigrants cut short their workday or stayed home in hopes of demonstrating their collective impact on the U.S. economy. The boycott was meant to show the purchasing power of the nation's immigrants, while the work stoppage forced a number of factories and businesses across the country to shut down for the day.

Before the day's events started, a number of major U.S. companies that depend on immigrant labor announced that they would be closed for the day, according to the Los Angeles Times. Among them: Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat producer, which closed nine U.S. beef plants and four pork plants; Cargill, the second-largest meatpacker, which closed some plants; and Perdue Farms, which closed six of its 14 plants.

Though the message was somewhat unified, the demonstrations peaceful and the look familiar (white T-shirts symbolizing peace), organizers were split on the idea of a boycott as the best way to stage Monday's protest. Supporters hoped it would send a clear message about the country's dependence on immigrant workers at a time when congressional leaders are considering whether to allow millions of illegal immigrants to gain legal status, while opponents feared the walkout might be a setback to the protesters' goals.

For comprehensive coverage, check out Voice of America News and Yahoo News.

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Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I think this was a great day! The government needs to acknowledge that for decades, they have not had a good immigration policy. It is time for those looking to live here CAN do so. We all, at one time, came here via immigrant status. I was so pleased to see the crowds!!!!!!

Deb S. said...

Dr. Deb: The crowds were amazing, to say the least. Let's see how Congress and the Bush administration proceed in the coming months.

dragonflyfilly said...

i saw this on the news last night and i was hugely impressed by the show of solidarity! - my faith in "America" is renewed by this and i might even spend the $80.00 +++ , required to get a new passport, so i can visit once again! [i've been boycotting the US for the past 3 years or so...]

i am kind of curious about something tho' - if the immigrants are illegal, would not the companies they work for be complicit in some way?

anyway, i came to your blog for another reason, to ask you about the feasibility of publishing my own written works? can you offer me any advice?

cheers for now,

p.s. does anybody else have a little wheel chair symbol next to their word verication window/box?

Deb S. said...

Dragonflyfilly: Yeah, get your passport and pay us a visit! You've been boycotting the U.S. for three years? Wow, you live up to your convictions. :-)

I think you raise a good point about the companies that hire immigrants. That issue is included in the multi-faceted debate.

As for the feasibility of publishing your own works: Self-publishing is an option for you, but you need to know the do's and don'ts.

I have a few previous posts that may help you. Check out:
In pursuit of self-publishing
Book shepherds

Two sites you might want to check out are

Good luck!

Responding to your P.S.: The wheelchair is the symbol for disabled. Blogger placed it by the word verification box for people who are visually impaired. If they have trouble seeing the characters, they can click on the wheelchair and listen to the characters, then type them. I think it's a great idea.