A survey of three immigration related stories.
Immigrant marches continue, including this one Saturday across the Brooklyn Bridge:
Within sight of the Statue of Liberty, thousands of young families, teenagers and activists walked across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday demanding an end to second-class citizenship and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The demonstration, which drew more than 20,000 participants, was the latest in a series of protests that have sounded across the nation. The peaceful crowd that turned out reflected New York's cultural mosaic. Chinese immigrants chanted in Spanish while indigenous dancers in feathered headdresses burned sage. Korean folk musicians ushered a crowd that included a clan of women who cried: "Like Martin Luther King, we have a dream."
Peter Wallstern reports in the LA Times that Bush likes Mexicans. Democrats learned too late that Bush's comfort with African American and Latinos is perceived as genuine by many. His pro-immigration speech on Monday reflected the affinity that Wallerstern describes:
Not everyone would have been willing to use his influence to help a Mexican citizen start a company, particularly one creating jobs in Mexico as well as in the U.S. But Bush's actions of 21 years ago help explain why today, as president, he is striking an unusually nuanced tone on the emotional question of immigration policy — a stance that has placed him at odds with the conservative Republicans who have long formed the base of his political support.
"Here was this single mother, Mexican, no money, starting a tiny little business," recalled Levine. She phoned Bush because his father was then vice president and "he was willing to use his connections in Washington to help me out. He understood it would mean jobs for poor people."
Long before the immigration fight that is rattling the nation, Bush developed a picture of immigration from his life in Midland, where he knew Levine and other Mexican immigrants personally and came to see both sides of the border as part of the same universe.
As I've noted earlier, commentators have begun to site Chicago's march as the first stage of the "waking of the giant." After missing the build up to the march like the rest of Chicago's English language media, the Sun Times carries a summary of its effects so far by Scott Fornet:
It started with about two dozen Latino community leaders trading ideas in a former church in the Pilsen neighborhood, hashing out how best to protest a U.S. House bill that would crack down on illegal immigration.
It ended three weeks later with a rally in the Loop attended by more than 100,000.
And while the massive March 10 demonstration seemed like a spontaneous outpouring to much of Chicago, the organizers had worked hard over those previous three weeks to make it happen.
They employed everything from a popular radio personality nicknamed "El Pistolero" to leaflets and e-mails to signs in shop windows promising "El Gigante Despierta" (The Giant Awakes).
On their own, workers passed the word at restaurants and hotels. High school students made it the subject of chain letters….
"Chicago is recognized as the place where all of these marches were born," said Juan Salgado, president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, after delivering a speech at Los Pinos, the presidential residence. "The magnitude of the march in Chicago really elevated the whole thing."