Immigration reform advocates have enjoyed a fantastic few days displaying the power of our movement. Last Saturday, tens of thousands of activists joined at more than 180 events in 40 states around the nation to demand action on immigration reform. On Tuesday, we brought it back to Washington, DC, where a rally on the mall culminated in an act of civil disobedience in which 8 members of Congress and nearly 200 advocates were arrested.
And the anti-immigrant wing won’t stop complaining about it.
NumbersUSA, a project of John Tanton, published a post calling the Tuesday rally in Washington “predictable” and “unimpressive.” Yet their post included a picture of a counter-rally they decided to organize, which featured all of three people. Predictable and unimpressive, indeed.
Breitbart tried to write about how the Tuesday event received no media coverage, worrying that press for the event had been dampened by coverage of the government shutdown. “Thus far,” wrote columnist John Nolte, “I have seen absolutely no coverage of the rally on any of the cable news networks, and a quick look at the front pages of today’s major left-wing political publications shows no coverage whatsoever. Well, John Nolte, here are 10 pages’ worth of links.
Breitbart, Daily Caller, and others have also repeatedly tried to dismiss the events on Saturday and Tuesday as turning out fewer people than expected. It’s not hard to see where this charge is really rooted. All year, opponents of immigration reform have struggled to drum up enthusiasm and support. They’ve talked about gearing up for a massive mobilization, then—when it didn’t pan out–denied they ever made that claim. Their own spokesmen have admitted that their side is more muted this year, while the pro-immigrant side is more fired up than ever. The anti-immigrant crowd organized this event in Richmond, now infamous for that definitive picture of a lonely, lonely Steve King. And that’s what happened when they managed to pull together an event—in August, they probably canceled more events than they held, due to lack of interest.
We don’t know how many people showed up in total on Saturday and on Tuesday. But we absolutely know for certain that the number is far more than the anti-immigrant crowd has turned out all year.