Today’s the day. Tens of thousands of people are registered to come to the National Mall for today’s immigration reform rally, called the March For America. Hundreds of buses are still pouring in from across the country, and several major progressive and pro-migrant bloggers will be reporting directly from the rally, which starts at 2pm. Expect coverage from Vivir Latino and Crooks and Liars, among others, as well as pictures and video from the National Mall. Look for a performance by Grammy award-winning talent, Los Lonely Boys! Live-streamed video should pop up at C-SPAN, Telemundo or Univision. On twitter, check out the #m4a hashtag. Follow @AmericasVoice and @RI4A.
5:30 PM: Rounding out the day were Los Lonely Boys, El Piolin, and more– check back for stories and video soon. Reports vary from a quarter to half a million people. That sounds like a success to me!
4:30 PM: So much to report. John Willhelm of UNITE HERE: “Freedom is never granted, it is won.”
4:11 PM: Rep. Judy Chu from California says that we can no longer scapegoat immigrants.
4:05 PM: Young child named Bladimir sends a message to President Obama about his family being torn apart. Carlos, a key student organizer for the Dream Act, describes the courage and the power that youth bring to the immigrant rights movement. Four brave youth walking from Florida to Washington, D.C., on what they call the “Trail of Dreams,” send a powerful message to the March. You can check them out here.
4:00 PM: As I announced earlier on twitter, we had some problem with the internet connection here, but we’ve been tweeting updates from the day— here are a couple highlights:
Obama: I pledge to help pass #cir, immigration reform this yr
Obama at #m4a: we understand that immigration reform doesn’t just affect 1 community, but our whole nation
A msg from @BarackObama video on stage, spirit of Ted Kennedy is with us
Two hundred thousand people on the mall looks like: http://twitpic.com/1a2q2a
- Sen Menendez: in the shadow of these civil rights monuments, we must fight to stop separating families
Rep Gutierrez: Justice now, justicia ahora. President Obama’s pen can turn hope into victory. Our friends, familes, neighbors, have waited 2 long.
You can check out the full feed at the March for America website.
12:00 PM: While the crowd streams in, here’s an important piece by Andrea Nill yesterday afternoon at Think Progress, which highlights a new study by the Center for America Progress that estimates the cost of a mass deportation policy (which many opponents of immigration reform support). Such a policy would run taxpayers a whopping $285 billion over five years:
“This weekend, several thousands of people are expected to gather on the National Mall to demand action on immigration reform. The immigration restrictionist group NumbersUSA is meanwhile responding with a four-day campaign to “stop amnesty” which starts today…However, a study released this afternoon by the Center for American Progress shows that the enforcement-only approach that restrictionist groups incessantly advocate for isn’t sustainable in the long-term…”
11:30 AM: Pam’s House Blend cites today’s New York Times article on the march, writing, “And a healthy representation of people in the march will be LGBT and black groups, two constituencies that have not been seen as vocal supporters of immigration reform.”
11:15 AM: Check out video from SEIU’s “Faces of March for America: Change Takes Courage:”
10:30 AM: Marisa Treviño reports on a Texas delegation to the March:
Spirits were high as people dragged pillows and luggage onto any of the five buses and three vans parked in the church’s parking lot designated to ferry the marchers to DC.
Preliminary reports say that over 100,000 people are expected on the National Mall in DC on Sunday brought by 900 buses from 35 states.
They not only bring high hopes with them but are delivering a clear message to Capitol Hill that they’re tired of waiting for Congress to deal with an issue that will never be “politically safe” but is the right thing to do.
On flickr, check out the the March For America (#m4a) photo stream: