May Day Marks Another Immigration March

It’s estimated that hundreds marched in Denver today to support immigrant rights-that is, some kind of policy for those who are already living an working in the United States and a stop to federal raids that tear families apart.

But while it’s clear what those who are taking it to the streets want, lawmakers in Washington D.C. don’t seem to be making much progress on the issue.From the Rocky Mountain News:

In New York, groups planned an “American Family Tree” rally, where immigrants would pin paper leaves on a large painting of a tree to symbolize the separation of families because of strict immigration laws.

The event is a response to a White House immigration reform proposal in March, said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

That plan would grant illegal immigrants three-year work visas for $3,500 but also require them to return home to apply for U.S. residency and pay a $10,000 fine. It has been roundly criticized by immigrant groups

After last year’s protests, reform legislation stalled in Congress and bipartisan proposals for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship have gotten more conservative.

Organizers said Tuesday’s turnout will be lower because stepped-up raids in recent months have left many immigrants afraid to speak out in public – a major change over rallies in 2006 when some illegal immigrants wore T-shirts saying “I’m illegal. So what?”

Even a recent poll shows that there is support for programs that would allow immigrants to stay in the United States.

While activists on both sides of the immigration debate remain furiously polarized, a USA Today/Gallup Poll released last month found growing support nationwide for measures that would allow immigrants to remain here.

Seventy-eight percent of respondents said persons in the country illegally should be given an opportunity to become U.S. citizens.

Former Denver Mayor Federico Pe

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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