Friday, September 16, 2005

Austin march against the Minutemen

In Austin, activists are using the annual parade celebrating Mexican Independence Day to protest anti-immigrant vigilante groups like the Minutemen. Here's some information about the event I received via email:

Embrace your Culture, Fight Racism (Minutemen), & Defend the Future of our Children
6th Annual Mexican Independence Day Parade

Stand up against racism and ignorance. The arrival of anti-immigrant vigilante groups like the Minutemen threatens to provoke more senseless violence from these fringe groups in Texas. March against prejudice, anti-immigrant groups, and racism; defend the future of our children. Our silence will continue to promote injustice if we fail to take action. We expect to see you in Austin.

  • Date: Saturday, September 17, 2005
  • March Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
  • March Location: Riverside and Congress
  • Rally Time: 5:30 pm -7:00 pm
  • Rally Location: State Capitol Building in Austin, Texas
Join the Texas United Latino Artists, TCJC, UFW, NAACP, ACLU, CIME, MALDEF, CDI-Dallas, UT Longhorn League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council, Jóvenes Inmigrantes por un Futuro Mejor de UT Austin, and grass roots groups from across the Lone Star State for a march to the south steps of the state Capitol.

13 comments:

Robbie said...

Is the intent of the march to protect the rights of legal as well as illegal immigrants?

Just curious, because the Minutemen do not oppose legal immigrants. They, as do most Americans, oppose illegal immigrants.

There is a difference.

If the march is also aimed at protecting the "rights" of illegal immigrants, then I hope it fails miserably.

Keath Milligan said...

I'm not a big fan of the Minutemen. While I sympathize with their goals of curbing illegal immigration and forcing governments to address immigration issues, vigilante-ism is at best ineffective, and at worst, foments unnecessary violence. And while I don't think the group itself is racist, I do believe its individual chapters are vulnerable to racism creeping in. The head of the Goliad chapter resigned recently, citing just that.

At some point this country is going to be forced to deal with illegal immigration and the growing shadow economy of off-the-books labor. We can’t continue to look the other way and pretend it doesn’t exist.

I’m not in favor of mass roundups, but the hundreds of thousands of Mexicans and Central and South Americans living and working here need to either be legitimized or sent home. I think the former is a more realistic approach than the latter. In either case, we need to seal our borders and keep them secure.

Both sides of this issue need to stop the stonewalling and silliness and start working together toward a solution. You’ll know when you’ve found it, because it will be the one that pisses everyone off.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

My own position on immigration questions is rooted in pure economic pragmatism. Markets always ignore man-made borders -- always. That's as true of the labor markets for construction workers and dishwashers as it is for marijuana.

Pot crosses the border because dope smokers want to purchase it. We have illegal immigration because important sectors of the economy demand the labor, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

That leaves two options: Allow a black market and live with the bad side effects, or legalize the market and regulate it, tax it, etc., to control the externalities. You can see how well option one is working for us.

Plus, I don't like vigilantes. As long as we were talking about a bunch of rednecks in lawn chairs facing south in the middle of nowhere, who really cared? Once they decide to arm themselves and roam the streets of Houston looking for undocumented workers, that's pretty much a recipe for inevitable catastrophe. The Minutemen are bad news, however well intentioned some may be.

OSAPian said...

In 1965/66 my father and others spent a lot of time in Delano, California monitoring United Farm Worker picket lines to report [and therefore prevent] grower instigated violence because the local law enforcement agencies would not.

I don't think they were vigilantes. I do think they performed a public service.

Whatever one's opinion is on illegal immigration, the fact is both political parties are doing nothing to prevent it. The Minutemen are monitoring the border to report law breakers. That's all they are doing.

I don't think they are vigilantes. I do think they are performing a public service.

Anonymous said...

All Mexicans are the same race? Sounds to me like these people against the Minutemen think that is the case.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@OSAPian -- what about the guys who announced they'd strap on heat to harass folks in Houston they think might be there illegally? Are they just really harmless patriots "monitoring the border"? That's a loooong way from the border ...

OSAPian said...

I hope the dangerous fools you mentioned are not associated with the Minutemen. If they are, I take back my previous comments. Monitoring the border to call attention to the failure of the federal government to enforce the law is one thing, private enforcement of those laws in the interior is another thing indeed. That is vigilantism and it should be condemned by true patriots.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Here's the clip where the Minutemen announced their new foray in Houston.

Anonymous said...

All the Minutemen do is call the Border Patrol on a cellphone when they see people crossing the border.

It is the left that is threatening violence , not the Minutemen.

OSAPian said...

I stand corrected. The refusal of cities large and small to assist federal authorities enforce immigration laws while taking millions in homeland security handouts/grants is an issue honest people can disagree about. Direct action like what the Minutemen are proposing in Houston is wrong.

Anonymous said...

As a Mexican-American I fully support the work of the Minutmen. My father came to this country legally, and it is not too much to ask others to obey the laws of this land and do the same. The Minutemen may not be the best solution to our illegal immigration problem, but they call attention the fact that the federal government has failed to stop the flow of illegals into this country. It's not about racism or prejudice, its about enforcing our laws and protecting our porous borders. I know plenty of Mexican-Americans who feel the same as me, my dad included.

If you really wanted to "defend the future of our children" you would support the patriotic efforts of the Minutemen, pinche guero.

lauxa said...

My understanding is that the black market for illegal immigrant labor is because they will work for less than minimum wage and can be exploited safely since, well, what are they gonna do? sue you? Maybe eliminating minimum wage and fair labor laws would eliminate this black market for illegal labor, but then that leaves citizens without protection from unscrupulous employers. So how would you propose eliminating the black market?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@lauxa

Lots of different ways to get rid of black markets for labor, or limit them. Getting rid of the minimum wage might be one, but another might be giving undocumented workers rights to enforce labor laws in court without being deported. Another might be much more lenient and widespread guest worker programs, amnesty programs, etc. Another might just be to acquiesce in reality and provide documentation that allows folks to work under protection of the labor laws. (We need a lot more people paying into social security now, after all, to keep it solvent.) I'm no immigration expert, but it seems like there's a lot of ways to skin that cat if one's goals aren't fundamentally anti-immigrant.