Mixed predictions for Latino boycott

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“This is making the public aware that there are men and women who are here working and contributing to the American society, and they want to make their voices heard,” said Harry Pachon, president of the Tom s Rivera Policy Institute in Los Angeles, a Latino think tank. As with the mass marches this week, the focus of the boycott is the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here, with organizers saying they want immigration reform legislation that does not criminalize that population and also offers a way for them to become legalized. Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, supports the boycott. “We need to recognize how vital the immigrant population is to the U.S. and California in particular,” Napolitano said Monday. “The immigrant community has grown and diversified.” Randy Ertll, executive director of El Centro de Acci n Social in Pasadena, said he believes the boycott, if widely supported, could send a strong statement. Will it really be a day without Latinos, or just a dud? Immigrant-rights advocates are pushing a nationwide, one-day boycott by Latinos, urging them not to go to work or school and not to shop on May 1. Similar boycotts in the past, however, have had mixed results, drawing sparse participation and little notice in the English-language media. This time, though, organizers hope the “Great American Boycott of 2006” will dramatize the void that would be left without Latino workers – U.S. born, legalized and illegally here – contributing to the nation’s economy. “\ do provide a role in American society because they work hard for little pay,” he said. “Hopefully … the U.S. government will recognize how they impact the U.S. economy in a positive way.” South El Monte Mayor Blanca Figueroa described the planned action as a “drastic means to get a response.” “It’s an opportunity to begin to knock on doors and say, `Wake up, people!”‘ Figueroa said. Still, questions remained over whether many working-class Latinos can afford to take a day off without pay – and at possible risk to their jobs – to participate in the no-work, no-school boycott. “This will be one of the greatest litmus tests to see how supportive the non-immigrant community is toward immigrants, and to see how much employers provide support for immigrants,” said Ertll. “If there is anyone who lives hand-to-mouth, check-to-check, it’s the immigrant population,” said Pachon. “It probably involves a lot more sacrifice on their part than the average American citizen.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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