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Thousands Protest Immigrant Baiting Governor

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  • Steven L. Robinson
    (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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2006
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      (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.

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