Rallies sound immigration drumbeat

Deseret News/[[September 5, 2006]]/Shia Kapos/ link

BATAVIA, Ill. -- Spirited groups of immigrant rights supporters rallied in Illinois and Arizona on Monday ([[September 4, 2006]]) in marches intended to keep the drumbeat going for changes in immigration law.

...In Batavia, a flag-waving crowd, estimated by police at about 2,500, chanted "Si, se puede" -- Yes, we can -- and converged on the district office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert. In a counter-rally sponsored by the Chicago Minuteman Project, some 200 men, women and a few children jeered the larger crowd.

Organizers hoped to pressure Hastert to push legislation favorable to immigrants through Congress. "We're here because we need to keep this issue alive," said organizer Jorge Mujica, 50, a Mexican immigrant who lives in Berwyn, Ill.

"We want to show that we didn't disappear after May 1," he said, referring to the hundreds of thousands who protested nationwide that day on the issue. "We're not going away."

Alfredo Gutierrez, at the rally in Phoenix...

The Arizona chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now set up three tents, at which volunteers registered people to vote and distributed postcards urging members of Arizona's congressional delegation to support a path for citizenship for immigrants...