Thousands Protest Immigrant Baiting Governor
- (Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, a New Dem, has decided that a sure
ticket to re-election is the illegal immigration issue and has a four point
plan to address it. To many in Arizona this smacks of good old fashioned
immigrant baiting - ala the Minutemen and the Know Nothings. This article
reports on a massive demonstration to Napolitano's proposal in the
supposedly red state of Arizona. SR)
Noisy protest greets Napolitano plan
By Gary Grado, Tribune
January 10, 2006
As Gov. Janet Napolitano laid out her "four-point plan" Monday to curb
illegal immigration, 3,000 protesters marched outside the Capitol chanting
"Sí se puede" or "Yes we can" — the rallying cry of immigrant farm worker
activist Cesar Chavez.
The Phoenix group Immigrants without Borders organized the gathering, which
at times reached noise and enthusiasm levels rivaling college football
Men in white T-shirts with black "Security" on them made a human chain to
separate the crowd from the doors where legislators, staff and others filed
Gabriel Cruz, a 26-year-old Glendale Community College student wearing a
T-shirt that said "Danger: Educated Chicano," skipped and hopped between the
demonstrators and security chain, pumping his fist, urging the frenzy.
Demonstrations on the opening day of the Legislature tend to be festive and
quiet, said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.
"I can't remember anything of this magnitude," Goddard said.
Illegal immigration and its associated problems have become a political hot
point in recent years in Arizona and promise to become a major point of
contention this year between the governor and the Republican controlled
The chanting crowd moved to a stage set up at 17th Avenue and Adams Street,
where speakers and signs dotting the crowd said they want immigrants to be
recognized as a productive force that can help the American economy.
They also want an end to antiimmigrant legislation.
"Don't give up the hope," said Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix.
Rodrigo Becerra, who owns a Phoenix construction company, handed out fliers.
"A sleeping giant is finally waking up," he said. "We're here because
there's a need for our workforce and we're here to fill that need."
Gerardo Rosas, a Cave Creek landscaper whose 2-year-old son tugged on his
belt to get his attention, said most illegal immigrants would rather stay in
Mexico. But they cross the border to give their children a better life.
"I work for my kids, I live for my kids," he said in Spanish.
Napolitano said her $100 million plan is tough and realistic. She wants to
come down hard on human smugglers and employers who hire illegal immigrants,
tighten the border with more manpower and equipment, attack the fraudulent
document market and go after car thieves who drive to Mexico and return with
illegal immigrants. She also said she's going to keep the heat on the
federal government to establish a guest worker program and allow the
National Guard be posted at the border.
Cruz, a Democrat, said he saw Napolitano's proposal as just a political
"It's an election year," he said.
This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from