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Grassroots Opposition to Immigration Reform Fails to Ignite

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Today is the last day of markup in the Senate Judiciary Committee–and advocates from around the country have been pumped up waiting for the Senators to pass the immigration bill out of committee.  Below is a picture of some of the advocates in the hearing room–DREAMers, moms, dads, union supporters, business interests, faith leaders, immigrants, and allies–all pushing for immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.  Check out the energy!


Meanwhile, in case you missed it (and like most rational people, you probably missed it) opponents of immigration and their tea party cohorts today held a national press day against the immigration reform bill. Despite its label as a national event, rallies and protests were not held in every state (or even states with a Senator currently sitting on the Judiciary Committee– opponents of immigration in Iowa, Utah, Vermont, Connecticut and Minnesota failed to register events with the organizing Remember 1986 coalition).  In fact, from the coverage (or lack thereof) that we’ve seen, today’s national press day was barely an event at all.

Despite plenty of planning and instructions on how to invite press, it seems most events were small and not covered by reporters. Where journalists were present, they noted low turnout, like this rally in Washington state, which drew about five protesters. In February, we wrote about a similar ALIPAC protest that initially boasted of 20,000 people promising to attend events nationwide.  On the day of, slightly fewer people than that showed up.

The anti-immigration reform “movement” seems to be operating under the assumption that one day–any day now–the groundswell of Americans who oppose immigration reform will show up and sink the bill.  With 83% of Americans supporting immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship, they might be waiting for a long time.

Below, check out all four of the immigration reform opponents who turned out in Bucks County, Pennsylvania to express their displeasure with the Senate bill: