Sunday, April 2, 2006

INB 4/2/06: Protests Continue, School Walkouts Spread

Immigration News Briefs
Vol. 9, No. 12 - April 2, 2006
(Special Double Issue)

1. Immigrant Protests Continue
2. Student Walkouts Spread
3. Senate Committee Moves on Bill

Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; tel 212-674-9499; weeklynewsupdate@gmail.com. INB is also distributed free via email; contact immigrationnewsbriefs@gmail.com to subscribe or unsubscribe. You may reprint or distribute items from INB, but please credit us and tell people how to subscribe. Immigration News Briefs is posted at http://immigrationnewsbriefs.blogspot.com.

*1. IMMIGRANT PROTESTS CONTINUE

More than 500,000 people marched in Los Angeles on Mar. 25 to
demand legalization for out-of-status immigrants and protest
anti-immigrant legislation being considered by the Senate [see
INB 3/18/06, 3/25/06]. Police estimated the crowd size using
aerial photographs and other techniques, police commander Louis
Gray Jr. said. [AP 3/26/06]

The LA demonstration was the largest of a wave of protests
sweeping cities across the US, starting with Feb. 14 rallies and
strikes in Philadelphia and Georgetown, Delaware, and energized
by a massive Mar. 10 rally in Chicago [see INB 2/18/06, 3/11/06,
3/25/06]. According to a Mar. 25 article by New American Media,
more than 50 demonstrations took place over the previous few
weeks, including in Minneapolis, Knoxville, Seattle, St. Louis,
Portland (OR), Staten Island (NY) and Grand Rapids (MI). [NAM
3/25/06]

More than 50,000 people protested on Mar. 25 in downtown Denver,
Colorado, according to police. Some 5,000-7,000 people gathered
in Charlotte, North Carolina. A rally in Dallas, Texas, drew
1,500. In Sacramento, California, more than 4,000 people took
part in an annual march honoring the late farm labor leader Cesar
Chavez. [AP 3/26/06] According to an email update from the
Houston, Texas-based zine The Alarm, between 5,000 and 6,000
people marched in Houston on Mar. 25 for the DREAM Act--
legislation that would allow immigrant students to legalize their
status. [The Alarm 3/29/06]

In New York on Mar. 25, several hundred people gathered at a
"dialogue with elected leaders" in Jackson Heights, Queens,
organized by Immigrant Communities in Action [whose name was
given incorrectly in INB 2/18/06]. At least 75 people protested
outside the federal building in Manhattan at a vigil organized by
Families for Freedom, highlighting the plight of US citizen
children affected by the deportation of parents. [New York Times
3/26/06; FFF 3/20/06] On Mar. 26, 1,000 people marched in Upper
Manhattan. [El Diario-La Prensa (NY) 3/27/06] Immigrants also
marched in Columbus, Ohio on Mar. 26. [AP 3/27/06]

On Mar. 27, several thousand demonstrators gathered on the west
lawn of the Capitol in Washington, DC, joined by 100 religious
leaders who denounced a House provision that would make it a
crime to give aid to illegal immigrants. [NYT 3/28/06; San Jose
Mercury News 3/27/06]

On Mar. 27 in San Francisco, as many as 5,000 demonstrators
marched to the offices of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). The march
marked the culmination of a week-long hunger strike. [David Bacon
email 3/27/06; NYT 3/28/06] As many as 2,500 immigrants from a
broad array of backgrounds rallied on Boston Common. [Boston
Globe 3/28/06] About 4,000 people turned out for a rally in
Detroit; business owners of Latin American descent closed their
shops in support of the protest. [NYT 3/28/06]

About 200 students rallied in front of the Statehouse in Trenton,
New Jersey on Mar. 30 to urge state and federal lawmakers to
consider bills that would allow undocumented students to attend
college at in-state tuition rates. [Ocean County Observer
3/31/06; AP 3/30/06]

On Mar. 31, the birthday of Cesar Chavez, hundreds of students,
farmworkers and supporters marched through the streets of El
Paso, Texas, to support immigrant rights and pay homage to the
farmworker leader, who died in April 1993. [La Jornada (Mexico)
4/1/06]

On Apr. 1 in New York City, more than 10,000 people marched over
the Brooklyn Bridge to demand legalization and protest anti-
immigrant legislation. The march ended with a rally at
Manhattan's federal building. [AP 4/1/06]

In Costa Mesa, California, about 40 miles south of Los Angeles,
some 1,500 people turned out in the wind and rain on Apr. 1 to
support immigrant rights. The mostly young and Latino crowd
marched around city hall, waving US and Mexican flags. [MSNBC
4/1/06] Last year Costa Mesa's City Council approved a plan to
give local police authority to enforce immigration law. Federal
officials have not yet decided whether to accept the city's
proposal. [AP 4/1/06]

Labor, immigrant and civil rights and religious groups are
organizing for a National Day of Action on Apr. 10. [AP 3/26/06]

*2. STUDENT WALKOUTS SPREAD

In Los Angeles on Mar. 27--the Monday on which California
celebrates Cesar Chavez day, but which is not a school holiday--
as many as 36,000 students from 25 Los Angeles County schools
walked out of class to protest anti-immigrant measures being
debated in the Senate and demand legalization for immigrants.
Officials at Huntington Park High School locked the gates after
classes started to prevent walkouts, but students climbed over a
chain-link fence and joined the march. More than 1,000 students
encircled the Los Angeles City Hall, and a group of six met with
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his office. Villaraigosa then
stepped outside and addressed the crowd of students, telling him
he supported their goals but urging them to return to class.

About 300 students and other protesters took over several lanes
of a freeway in downtown Los Angeles. The demonstrators walked
about a mile before they were escorted off, the Highway Patrol
said. [AP 3/27/06, 3/28/06; Dallas Morning News 3/28/06; NYT
3/28/06]

The Mar. 27 student walkouts quickly spread to San Diego,
Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and Ventura counties. In San
Diego County, two dozen protesters were arrested in Escondido
after refusing orders from police to disperse. In Riverside,
seven people were arrested across town after scuffles with riot
police, authorities said. [LAT 3/28/06] Other student protests
were reported in Fresno, Oakland and Watsonville, California. [AP
3/28/06]

An estimated 400 students walked out of high schools in Phoenix,
Arizona, on Mar. 27 and marched to the Capitol to support
immigrant rights. [AP 3/28/06] As many as 4,000 students walked
out of high schools in the Dallas, Texas area on Mar. 27 to
demonstrate at a park and at Dallas City Hall. [DMN 3/28/06]

Hundreds of students walked out of class on Mar. 27 and 28 in
Houston, San Diego, Denver, Las Vegas, Detroit and in northern
Virginia. [DMN 3/28/06; AP 3/29/06; Washington Post 3/29/06;
Rocky Mountain News (Denver) 3/29/06]

Students from a dozen North Texas school districts walked out of
class on Mar. 28, and several hundred students stormed the lobby
of Dallas City Hall and disrupted a council meeting. Dallas
School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa warned students
that further protests could lead to in-school suspensions, parent
conferences or even truancy arrests. [DMN 3/28/06]

On Mar. 28, thousands of high school and some middle school
students walked out of class in Phoenix and its suburbs. By
midday, Phoenix police estimated 2,000 students had gathered at
the Capitol. [Arizona Republic 3/29/06] Nearly 800 high school
students staged demonstrations in Tucson, Arizona on Mar. 29.
About 500 students at Sunnyside High in Tucson began a three-mile
march about a half-hour before dismissal time. The principal and
staff helped organize the action. [Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
3/30/06] At least 1,150 students from 18 Tucson area schools--
including elementary and middle schools--walked out of class on
Mar. 30 and marched through the streets. [Arizona Daily Star
(Tucson) 3/31/06]

Some 6,000 students walked out again on Mar. 28 in the Los
Angeles School District. [El Barlovento 3/28/06] The walkouts
slowed in Los Angeles on Mar. 29, but continued elsewhere in
California. In Kern County, California, about 3,000 students
walked out. About 1,800 students took to the streets in and
around Bakersfield. In nearby Arvin, 1,000 high school students
marched to the town's city hall. At Oceanside High in San Diego
County, California, some students defied a school lockdown and
tried to leave for a protest. Police arrived and sprayed mace at
students to keep them from climbing a fence. A number of students
were detained. The Oceanside Unified School District decided to
close middle and high schools for the rest of the week. [LAT
3/30/06]

In Yakima, Washington, 660 students at Davis high school and
dozens of others at Eisenhower high school walked out on Mar. 27.
On Mar. 29, Davis administrators at decided to punish the 660
students who walked out by suspending them. Eisenhower students
were not punished. [Email message from Yakima resident Maria
Cuevas 3/30/06] On Mar. 30, police arrested 26 students who
walked out of classes in the Houston Independent School District
for curfew violations. Another 33 students from Dowling Middle
School and 34 from Madison High School got truancy citations the
same day. [Houston Chronicle 3/31/06]
About 700 high school students walked out on Mar. 29 in El Paso,
Texas, and marched for several miles. On Mar. 30, more than 2,000
El Paso area students skipped out of class and marched through
the streets all day. [El Paso Times 3/30/06, 3/31/06] Students
also walked out of class in Austin, and again in Dallas. [AP
3/30/06]

Demonstrations among high schoolers and middle schoolers spread
on Mar. 30 in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Ignoring threats of
disciplinary action from school administrators, 1,500 students
walked out of class or skipped school in Northern Virginia and
about 300 students did the same in Kensington, Maryland, to march
for immigrant rights. [Washington Post 3/31/06]

In Los Angeles on Mar. 31, more than 100 students rallied again
at City Hall. [La Jornada (Mexico) 4/1/06] Some 2,000 students
demonstrated in San Diego and another 1,000 did so in
Bakersfield. In Las Vegas, Nevada, some 4,000 students walked out
of classes at 22 schools and met in the center of the city. More
than 1,000 walked out again in Tucson and marched through the
city, and the walkouts also continued in Maryland and Virginia.
[LJ 4/1/06]

*3. SENATE COMMITTEE MOVES ON BILL

During debate on immigration reform on Mar. 27, the Senate
Judiciary Committee voted 12-5 to approve an amendment by Sen.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) under which out-of-status immigrants in the
US could stay for six years if they remain employed, and apply
for permanent residency after six years. The committee also
accepted amendments incorporating the DREAM Act, which would
provide a path to legalization for students, and a modified
version of the AgJOBS bill, which would allow farmworkers to
legalize their status. The committee voted 11-6 to approve an
amendment sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) which would
create a "guest worker" program to admit up to 400,000 low-
skilled foreign workers a year. The committee also voted to
nearly double the number of border patrol agents, calling for
12,000 more over the next five years, to bring the force to
23,000. The final bill, which passed the committee on a 12-5
vote, did not include provisions that would make unauthorized
presence in the US a felony or allow the prosecution of church
and charitable groups for providing aid to immigrants.
[Immigration Forum Update and Action Alert 3/29/06; SJMN 3/27/06;
NYT 3/28/06]

The Senate began discussing immigration reform on Mar. 29. Debate
will focus on working out conflicts between the bill passed by
the committee and an enforcement-only measure sponsored by Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) which resembles HR 4437, passed
by the House last December. [Los Angeles Times 3/30/06]

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1 comment:

Immigration News Briefs said...

Note from INB editor: Just found this blog coverage of a March 29, 2006 demonstration of 8,000-9,000 people in Nashville, Tennessee; I didn't know about it when covering other demonstrations that week:

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Thousands at Nashville Immigrant Rights Rally

"Approximately 8,000-9,000 people demonstrated for immigrant rights here in Nashville last night - according to police estimates, as reported by the Tennessean.

"You know it was a remarkable demonstration when the local daily newspaper sends a reporter and a photographer. The Tennessean was impressed! (The Channel 2 video says police estimate a crowd of 6,000, and the City Paper calls it 5,000.)"

See the full post (with photo) at: http://guerillawomentn.blogspot.com/2006/03/thousands-at-nashville-immigrant.html