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El Militante
‘Legalization now!’
15,000 march in Los Angeles;
Reject bosses’ ‘immigration reform’

Demands grow louder that radio host be fired over racist, sexist remark
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‘La migra’ raids pork plant in Illinois; 60 workers in jail
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Record of Militant Fightning Fund
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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 71/No. 16      April 23, 2007


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(lead article)
‘Legalization now!’
15,000 march in Los Angeles;
Reject bosses’ ‘immigration reform’
Militant/Dean Hazlewood
April 7 march in Los Angeles to demand legalization for undocumented immigrants. Some 15,000 immigrant workers and their supporters participated in the action.
LOS ANGELES, April 7—Some 15,000 people marched to City Hall here today, chanting, “What do we want? Legalization! When do we want it? Now!” Wearing red T-shirts, protesters carried signs demanding amnesty for the undocumented, an end to immigration raids and deportations, and legalization of all immigrants without papers, estimated at 12 million in the United States today.

The event was sponsored by the April 7 Coalition for Full Rights of Undocumented Workers. Its members include Latino Movement USA, Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, and A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition.

Many protesters expressed opposition to immigration bills promoted by capitalist politicians. “What we need is real legalization,” said Ricky Juárez, a young warehouse worker, who, along with his brother Eduardo, carried homemade signs reading, “Unity” and “Stop the raids.”

Demands grow louder that radio host
be fired over racist, sexist remark

Reuters/Mike Segar
NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey, April 11—Rutgers University women’s basketball team members at a news conference yesterday in nearby Piscataway condemned racist remarks by radio talk-show host Don Imus. Team coach Vivian Stringer said Imus made “racist and sexist remarks that are deplorable, despicable, and unconscionable.” While on the air April 4, Imus called members of the team, most of whom are Black, “nappy-headed ho’s.” His morning talk show was then suspended for two weeks by CBS Radio and MSNBC, which televises it, and Imus has apologized publicly. But many at rallies here and in New York the last two days demanded that he be fired. As we go to press, MSNBC TV announced it would no longer simulcast the “Imus in the Morning” radio program.


“Thousands of dollars in fees, just to get started, is a way to block legalization,” said Juárez. “It’s going to be a struggle to win legalization. I built this march on the job.” Juárez was referring to a proposal now pushed by U.S. president George Bush, which event organizers and protesters denounced. It would require immigrants to apply for three-year work visas that cost $3,500 to renew. Workers would have to leave the United States while their renewal application is processed. Those seeking U.S. residency would have to pay a $10,000 fee.

Another bill sponsored by U.S. representatives Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat from California, and Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, had been initially hailed by immigrant rights groups here. But it was also the target of criticism by many protesters today.

The measure would require immigrants to prove they worked in the United States before June 1, 2006, pay a $500 fine, and receive a security clearance to get a six-year work visa. After it expires, immigrants who pass English proficiency tests, don’t have a criminal record, and pay an additional $1,500 would be eligible to apply for permanent residency upon return to their country of origin. This process could take as long as 20 years. This bill would also allow hundreds of thousands of “guest workers” to enter the country each year and work on a temporary basis, with their status tied to the whims of their bosses.

“Many people say they are concerned about the amount of time it would take to get legalization, on top of the many conditions they have to meet” through the Gutierrez-Flake bill, Angela Sanbrano, director of the Center of Central American Resources (CARECEN), told the Spanish-language daily La Opinión.

In spite of workplace raids across the country, workers marching today were not intimidated. Many expressed confidence in fighting for unconditional legalization. “I used to think it was a favor that we had jobs,” said Jorge García, a laundry worker who marched with his family. “Now I know we have rights. Coming out to the marches and demonstrations is very important.”

Rey Nava, another protester originally from Mexico City, noted that unlike similar protests last year most media here did not announce plans for this action, , minimizing the turnout. “But here we are the ones who want this to go ahead,” he said.
Related articles:
‘La migra’ raids pork plant in Illinois; 60 workers in jail
Legalize the undocumented now!

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