Nativist opponents of immigration reform were supposed to make their big stand this last weekend, spurred on by protests against children fleeing violence in Murrieta, California. Mostly led by two internet groups, Make Them Listen and Overpasses for America, extremists had rallies planned in every state.
And then — as to be expected with an issue where the vast majority of Americans support immigration reform — things fizzled. Only a few handfuls of people attended an Iowa rally where Steve King was the headliner, prompting comparisons to his infamous failure of a Richmond rally last August. Most events drew less than ten people, with only a couple garnering more than a dozen. The Columbus Dispatch’s headline was, “Few show up for protest over illegal immigration“; CBS Philly’s was “Anti-Immigration Protesters Outnumbered By Demonstrators Backing Reform.” In a number of states, including Texas, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, news coverage focused on the pro-immigration reform protesters who turned out in numbers and overwhelmed the nativists. Some of the latter were quoted worrying that Obama would send missiles to their homes and claiming that children fleeing violence are actually terrorists.
View the photos below for examples of this weekend’s sparsely-attended anti-immigrant rallies (h/t Center for New Community for many links) . And for comparison, check out this photoblog from last October documenting just a few of the images from the more than a hundred pro-reform events that day.