Immigration Activists Call For May 1 Boycott

Tuesday, April 10th 2007, 10:42 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Immigration activists are calling for a repeat of last year's boycott and massive marches for immigrants' rights that drew more than 1 million people to the streets in dozens of cities nationwide.

The so-called ``Great American Boycott II'' is being planned for May 1, organizers for the March 25 Coalition said Monday. The group is made up of immigrant rights organizations and others who frequently plan rallies around the country.

Last year's demonstrations, on May 1, temporarily shuttered businesses and schools across the country as people took to the streets in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and other cities.

The boycott was fueled by anger over federal legislation that would have criminalized being in the country in illegally and fortified the U.S.-Mexico border. The goal was to raise awareness about immigrants' economic power.

The legislation later stalled in Congress. A compromise plan floated last month would grant work visas to illegal immigrants but require them to return home and pay hefty fines before being allowed to com back and become legal U.S. residents.

Recent protests have not attracted as many supporters as last year's demonstrations. A rally last weekend in Los Angeles drew about 10,000 people, compared to the half-million who marched last May.

Javier Rodriguez, one of the ``Great American Boycott II'' organizers, declined to predict how many people might participate. He said recent raids on illegal immigrants have created fear within the community and could lower the turnout.

The March 25 Coalition is named for demonstrations in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, that drew about half a million people to the streets demanding greater rights for illegal immigrants.