ACRU

Rallies for Illegal Immigration: The Big Flop on May 1

Yesterday, May 1, was supposed to be a banner day for rallying support for “immigration reform.” (“Immigration reform,” incidentally, is one of those phrases that belongs in the Dictionary for the Politically Incorrect, since its actual meaning is concealed behind its lofty appeal for “reform.” Its actual meaning is: changing immigration law so that illegal immigrants reap rewards for their disregard of the rules).

But I digress. The mainstream media has had little to say about the May 1 rallies. Indeed, the only article I have seen about it is one posted on the MSNBC news site, titled, “L.A. to probe police force at rally.” Evidently, for MSNBC, the only important story to emerge from yesterday’s events was that the police might have used “inappropriate force.” (This notwithstanding that, a few inches down the page, the article quietly reports that “[t]he skirmishes at MacArthur Park, west of downtown Los Angeles…resulted in about 10 people being taken to hospital for treatment of injuries including cuts…None of the injuries was believed to be serious”).

In fact, the major story about the illegal immigration rallies is this: They were a flop. As the MSNBC story discloses in its fifth paragraph, “Turnout nationwide for the May Day marches on Tuesday was light compared to a year ago. Los Angeles brought out about 25,000 people, only a fraction of the 650,000 who rallied last year. In Chicago, where more than 400,000 swarmed the streets a year earlier, police officials put initial estimates at about 150,000. Organizers said fear about raids and frustration that the marches have not pushed Congress to pass reform kept many people at home. They said those who did march felt a sense of urgency to keep immigration reform from being overshadowed by the 2008 presidential elections.”

Some observations.

First, out of a crowd of 25,000, 10 were taken to the hospital, all for non-serious injuries. Assuming that all 10 were innocent bystanders and not one provoked a fight with the police (an unrealistically generous assumption), 10 out of 25,000 is not what one would call a police riot.

Second, fear of raids and frustration about Congressional inaction could not possibly account for the dramatic decease in participation. There was at least as much chance of a “raid” last year, and anger about Congressional inaction would prompt more participation, not less.

Third, if the amnesty movement were gaining traction, there would scarcely be a “sense of urgency” to keep it from being “overshadowed” by the 2008 elections. To the contrary, it would be an important issue in those elections.

The upshot is that the excuses for The Big Flop don’t add up. I suspect — although I can’t prove — that there is a very different reason the rallies ran out of gas. Pro-amnesty organizations are discouraged that people have started to catch on to the costs of illegal immigration. This is happening none too soon, but better late than never.