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By Fred Lingel

Protesters waving Latino flags in an effort to dictate laws have generated such a backlash that it helps supporters of legislation that would enforce border control without amnesty, lawmakers say:

“I couldn’t be happier, because every single time this kind of thing happens, the polls show that more and more Americans turn against the protesters and whatever it is they are trying to advance,” said Rep. Tom Tancredo (RColo.).

His sentiments were widely echoed by other congressmen who were afraid to identify themselves.

The May Day protests were much smaller than two earlier demonstrations, partly because many employers told Latino workers not to come back if they failed to show up on May 1.

For example, the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino told its 10,000 employees if they failed to show up for work in order to protest they would be fired. Only two workers protested.

While protesters chanted in the streets, a large group of Latinos who are either American citizens or legal residents called for more border protections and no amnesty.

Although a press conference in Washington sponsored by the group

was crowded with newspaper reporters and TV cameras, there was no mention in The Washington Post and only a scant mention buried in The Washington Times.

Of other major newspapers, only the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle mentioned the event. American Free Press, however, was there to cover the event and spoke with some of the organizers.

Led by Army Col. Al Rodriguez (ret.), a coalition of Americans of Hispanic heritage called “You Don’t Speak for Me” organized to dispel notions that all Latinos want open borders and amnesty.

“While the illegal aliens [are] boycotting, the rest of us will be footing the $100 million-a-day costs for providing schooling, health care and other benefits and services to illegal aliens and their families,” Dan Stein, president of an allied group called FAIR, told the press conference.

“Politicians and the media seem to believe that Hispanic Americans hold a monolithic view on the subject of immigration,” said Pete Nunez, a former assistant secretary of treasury and a spokesman for the coalition.

“In fact, millions of Hispanic Americans—including many who have gone through the immigration process the right way—are offended by the demands being made by people who have broken our nation’s laws.”

On the same day, House Republicans called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prosecute businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens, citing companies forced to close for the day because they depended heavily on Latino workers.

Also on the same day, Customs agents raided 15 locations in New York and New Jersey to smash a “human trafficking ring” that smuggled Mexicans into the country and may have forced women to serve as sex slaves. The raids were conducted after New Jersey police pulled over two vehicles carrying at least 10 women who had been working in brothels in Virginia, Maryland and Washington.

(Issue #20, May 15, 2006)

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Updated May 8, 2006