April 28, 2007

Illegal alien/open borders lobby at odds over tactics for new round of MAY DAY marches for amnesty-again

Posted by D.A. King at 5:14 pm - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Organizers of immigration march clashing over tacticsDaniel González
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 28, 2007 12:00 AM

The broad coalition that organized the major march in downtown Phoenix a year ago to drum up support for legalizing undocumented immigrants has disintegrated into a feud over power, money and control.

That discord will mean a far smaller crowd when supporters stage another march on Tuesday. Organizers expect 5,000 to 10,000 people to march from the state fairgrounds to the state Capitol. That will be just a fraction of the more than the estimated 100,000 who packed the same route with a river of humanity on April 10, 2006.

The march is one of several events planned for Tuesday in cities around the country. The goal is to press Congress to pass reforms this year after failing to do so last year. But, like the march in Phoenix, those events are not expected to draw the massive crowds of last year, a sign that the immigration-reform movement has become more divided as Congress prepares to once again take up the contentious issue, including what to do with the estimated 11 million to 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. advertisement

Organizers of the Phoenix march say they expect a lower turnout because of the climate of fear created by an increase in work-site raids, deportations and local police working with federal authorities to arrest illegal immigrants. That has made undocumented immigrants more reluctant to come out of the shadows and march openly the way they did last year, organizers say.

But behind-the-scenes clashes over the details of an immigration-reform bill have fractured the dozens of labor unions, churches, immigrant groups and Latino organizations that united under the We Are America/Somos America coalition, which organized last year’s demonstration, the largest in Arizona history.

Reform groups also have clashed over tactics, leadership and fundraising methods. As a result, the We Are America coalition has opted to sit this march out. So have the Service Employers International Union, which provided much of the organizing muscle for last year’s march, and La Campesina, a popular Spanish radio station.

That has left only a small core of groups to plan, organize, raise money and publicize Tuesday’s march.

Read the rest here.