Immigrant-rights protesters in Denver on Saturday blocked city streets while chanting “Si se puede!” (Yes we can!) and waving Mexican flags. Behind these seemingly spontaneous protest marches against Arizona’s tough immigration law are well-organized groups, some that have an agenda of reclaiming America for their race.
The un-American or anti-American façade of the protests is bad enough, but the reality of the “immigrant rights” movement is even worse. Here is a rundown of the groups behind the protests:
MEChA: MEChA, an acronym for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, organized protests against the Arizona law on college campus across the country, most noticeably at elite institutions such as Cornell, Yale, and Stanford. MEChA describes itself as “part of our Raza’s future,” “raza” being the Spanish word for “race.” They argue that they are “Indigenous people to this land by placing our movement in Aztlan.” Aztlan is a legendary homeland for pre-Columbian Mexican cultures but has also become the touchstone for radical organizations which claim that most of Southwestern United States is Mexican territory occupied by Americans. MEChA fits that mold with their call to “undertake a struggle for liberation.”
National Council of La Raza: Another major force in “immigrant rights” is National Council of La Raza, the perhaps the best-known Hispanic interest group and an organization whose racism is built right into their name. On La Raza’s web site they describe some principles governing their approach to “comprehensive immigration reform” (a synonym for amnesty in today’s political discussions), including “getting the 12 million undocumented people in our country to come forward, obtain legal status, learn English, and assume the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.” To be fair, La Raza claims to support “smart enforcement policies that uphold national security and the Constitution,” but the real effort here is clear: to create millions of new voters, voters who are likely to earn lower-than-average wages and likely to support the Democratic Party.
FIRM (Fair Immigration Reform Movement): FIRM is an umbrella group of “grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights.” They take credit for being “the cornerstone of the people-led movement that derailed the inhumane and unworkable immigration laws pushed by congressional leaders (in 2006).”
FIRM supports “the right of undocumented immigrant children to a public school education.” FIRM was organized by the Center for Community Change (CCC), a group run by a former high-ranking employee of ACORN, and whose board of directors is packed with radical leftists, union activists, and the executive director of MoveOn.org. The CCC believes that “everyone should have a voice in the decisions that affect our lives and be fully engaged in our democracy.”
Somos Un Pueblo Unido: This Santa Fe, N.M.-based group helped organize protests in that city, causing one to question the accuracy of the group’s very name, that “We Are a United Town.” Somos pushes, among other things, for “access [to] in-state tuition and state financial aid regardless of immigration status” and claims to have been “instrumental in establishing one of the nation’s highest citywide minimum wage.” Groups like Somos argue that higher minimum wages are good for the entire community, but a far more likely outcome is that legal, i.e. American, low-skilled and young workers will be priced out of jobs while illegal workers who get paid under the table will work for less than the legal minimum wage.
El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos (The Center for Equality and Rights): This Albuquerque-based group kindly lets us know that “regardless of our nationality or immigration status, we all have rights” and which writes documents for immigrants, legal and otherwise, on the topic. El Centro reminds illegal immigrants that they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation if injured during work, that they have the right to participate in political protests (during non-work hours), that even if they can’t vote they “can participate in a political campaign…testify in hearings, and personally speak to politicians and policy makers,” and that they should teach their children not to open the door for immigration officers.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the AFL-CIO: Perhaps most the most insidious groups organizing protests against enforcing American immigration law are large labor unions, most notably SEIU and the AFL-CIO. An executive director of SEIU said that the union “will not be deterred” in their quest for amnesty, a major change for unions which were formerly opponents of such plans due to fear that the new workers would compete with their members. (In 2001, Vernon Briggs wrote an excellent and still relevant discussion of the history of the labor movement and immigration.) Now, they believe they’ll be able to unionize illegal immigrants if the illegals received amnesty.
As we watch protesters in the streets of America, chanting in a language other than English, waving flags other than that of the United States, perhaps we all need to thank the legislators and governor of Arizona for pushing back against the menacing cries of “Si se puede.” Sorry, La Raza, Mecha, and SEIU, but No, You Can’t.