Friday, September 08, 2006

Immigration rally fails in Washington.

Immigration: What did you expect? I guarantee the organizers and people who took part in the spring rallies thought they showed everyone, everything will tilt in their favor. What they either downplayed or didn't think would happen was the backlash.

A pro-immigration rally that promised to bring tens of thousands of marchers from across the nation to Washington yesterday managed to draw only a paltry number of demonstrators, raising questions about the movement's tactics and staying power. With fewer than 5,000 people attending, organizers from other localities expressed two worries about the turnout: that they were losing the momentum built up by the huge marches in the spring, and that the movement's national organizers in Washington have lost touch with the people. "I could have told you last week that there would not be that many people," said Ricardo Diaz, an organizer for A Day Without an Immigrant Coalition in Philadelphia. "Our meetings were low-energy." Diaz said that the movement has failed to achieve any gains in Congress since the initial marches and that the people who attended them are disappointed. "What did we have that was new?" he asked. "Why were we doing this?" ....Advocates who want to limit legal immigration and clamp down on illegal immigration cheered yesterday's rally turnout. "The attempt to recreate the atmosphere in the spring has completely failed because the illegal aliens and their supporters have gotten the message that the American people aren't going to roll over for this amnesty bill," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, referring to the Senate legislation. Grace Rivera-Oven, 37, a Germantown resident who attended the rally in April but stayed home this time, said she fears that the movement has lost some of its momentum, noting that none of the roughly 40 friends with whom she attended the April event planned to go this time. "I just think people are a little disappointed. Politically, it doesn't seem like we've made a dent" since the previous rally, Rivera-Oven said.

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