Like many cities all over the country, Washington experienced an immigration protest on Saturday at Lafayette Park.
The music in the video above is not a Latino beat one would hear in a Spanish-speaking resort area. In fact, the beats are pretty militaristic. The melody and lyrics drift off to the usual socialist labor chants (in Spanish). The use of the word “patria” (meaning “fatherland”) as opposed to “pais” (meaning “country”) in the song, for example, shows how nationalistic this kind of singing was. Below is a rough translation of phrases from the video:
“The people united will never be defeated.”
“From north to south it will be mobilized.”
“The mother country is forging the unity.”
“From north to south it will mobilize.”
“It will be. It will be a hot spring in the forest.”
“United in the struggle, it will open the country. It will open the country.”
“It will cover its path to herald its future. It will cover its path to herald its future.”
This song is hardly surprising, as it was May Day, when comrades come out in all languages, races, and creeds all over the world, but the beat and the chants were the same. May Day is celebrated every May 1 by marxist, anarchist and other socialist groups in different parts of the globe.
Many protesters were pushing the Dream Act. This legislation gives those immigrants who are not in the country legally a way to earn residency in the United States. The requirements are:
- Must be between the ages of 12 and 35 at the time the law is enacted.
- Must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16.
- Must have resided continuously in the United States for a least five consecutive years since the date of their arrival.
- Must have graduated from a U.S. high school or obtained a General Education Diploma (GED).
- Must have “good moral character.”
I spoke with Gustavo Torres of Casa de Maryland, a spokesman for one of the organizing groups of the protest. Mr. Torres insisted that those who commit crimes and are “undocumented” should be prosecuted and deported. While Mr. Torres still called Arizona’s immigration law “racist,” he would say only that his organization is “evaluating all possibilities,” when I asked him whether he supported an economic boycott of Arizona as a result of the new law, which goes into effect in mid-August.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, supports an economic boycott of his own state, along with several Democrats in San Francisco who serve on the Board of Supervisors. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat and former mayor of San Francisco, told The Washington Times she disagrees with a boycott strategy against Arizona.
Immigration activists and some Democrats may be thinking twice about persuasion tactics to bring over not only the 70 percent of Arizonans who support the law, which has been further amended to describe what “reasonable suspicion” actually is, but also 70 percent of U.S. adults who support the bill. A local Phoenix ABC affiliate reports:
“These new statements make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona,” [Gov. Jan Brewer] said in a statement.
Changes to the bill language will actually remove the word “solely” from the sentence, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”
Another change replaces the phrase ”lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.
While these changes in the law have been made, the sound bites remain the same, loud and clear. The “amnesty for all” groups will continue to vilify Arizona and try to bring over the majority of Americans who remain unconvinced that Arizona’s immigration law goes too far.