The real reason for this post is to explain why these protests are happening. Many believe that for some reason, illegal aliens are suddenly demanding citizenship. As most of you know, the sudden uproar among the immigrant community was caused by Congressman Sensenbrenner's (R-WI) infamous H.R. 4437, a draconian measure that, among other things, would make it a felony for the U.S. born child of undocumented immigrants not to turn in her parents for deportation. Interestingly, the bill is not mentioned on the Congressman's website, immigration is not even listed among the "issues".
H.R. 4437 passed the House last December, and as more has been learned of it during Senate debate, people across America have become irate over the legislation. The Protest in Chicago last March sparked a fire that quickly consumed the nation, May 1st will be less a climax than an encouraging push, a sign of things to come.
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SEC. 274. (a) Criminal Offenses and Penalties-
`(1) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES- Whoever--
...`(C) assists, encourages, directs, or induces a person to reside in or remain in the United States, or to attempt to reside in or remain in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to reside in or remain in the United States;
so you can't rent a place, sell or loan a car, give a job, teach english, or do a bunch of other things, possibly even give directions, sell a winter coat, deliver mail, sell food to, or a bunch of other things that assist someone to reside here to someone with an accent without asking first for proof of legal status;
`(D) transports or moves a person in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien who lacks lawful authority to enter or be in the United States, where the transportation or movement will aid or further in any manner the person's illegal entry into or illegal presence in the United States;
so a restaurant employee needs to check a co-worker's papers before giving them a ride to work, or give anybody a ride to or from a Greyhound or Amtrak station, or possibly anywhere else without checking their status;
...`(F) transports, moves, harbors, conceals, or shields from detection a person outside of the United States knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such person is an alien in unlawful transit from one country to another or on the high seas, under circumstances in which the person is in fact seeking to enter the United States without official permission or lawful authority; or
so a foreign friend or relative of someone trying to come here unlawfully is somehow a criminal under our law for things they did abroad (not sure how they plan to enforce that...)
Dan's got it covered. Oh, and he's quite the progressive political activist. Check out the Chicago Alliance for the International Court.