March 19th, 2010
08:30 AM ET
13 years ago

Immigration rally planned for Sunday in Washington

Washington (CNN) - Thousands of people are expected to pour into Washington for a Sunday rally demanding immigration reform, launching the first public battle over the issue since the announcement of a new bipartisan plan endorsed by President Barack Obama.

While the nation will be focused largely on a more immediate debate - an expected vote over health care reform - the march on the National Mall will be setting the stage for a whole new fight over another of the most contentious issues facing the country.

The organization Reform Immigration for America, which supports a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally, says the changes it wants to see will help bring about "economic justice for all Americans."

In response, the Federation for American Immigration Reform - which staunchly opposes amnesty - called on Americans to contact their representatives and demand tougher borders and an end to illegal immigration. FAIR says it seeks "effective, sensible immigration policies that work for America's best interests."

In a column published Friday in the Washington Post, the two senators behind the new immigration plan say "The American people deserve more than empty rhetoric and impractical calls for mass deportation."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, lay out broad ideas for fixing a "badly broken" system.

"Our plan has four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization" for the 11 million immigrants in the United States illegally, the two lawmakers write.

The plan will "require an effective employment verification system that holds employers accountable for hiring illegal workers," the senators write, including a "tamper-proof ID system."

The plan also would create "a zero-tolerance policy for gang members, smugglers, terrorists and those who commit other felonies after coming here illegally."

"Ending illegal immigration, however, cannot be the sole objective of reform," they add. "Developing a rational legal immigration system is essential to ensuring America's future economic prosperity."

After meeting with Schumer and Graham - both powerful figures within their parties - earlier this week, President Obama issued a statement saying he was "pleased" to see their "promising, bipartisan framework which can and should be the basis for moving forward. It thoughtfully addresses the need to shore up our borders, and demands accountability from both workers who are here illegally and employers who game the system."

The "critical next step," Obama said: turning the framework into legislation. He called on Congress "to act at the earliest possible opportunity."

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Brink

    I wonder how many of the protesters will be have their children at home with nannies who are illegals or are having their lawn or construction work down by underpaid latinos. Time for another poll CNN.

    March 19, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. LIP

    This sounds like a great opportunity to round up all the illegals and send them home.

    March 19, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Dave in Houston

    Illegal’s demanding citizenship. Only in America would this happen. Every other country would laugh at them, especially their own countries.
    Citizenship in this country is an earned privilege with many in line who would dedicate themselves to being proud Americans, who have Learned the language and would love and live the American way of life.
    1) Send the illegal’s home!!
    2) open up immigration quotes to 1 to 2 million a year with registered illegal’s who go home willingly at the head of the line.
    3) must speak, read and write English fluently to become citizen (suppose to be required now)
    4) be willing to give your life in defense of this great country!!!!
    5) be self supportive
    6) complete back ground check
    7) 5 year probation period( any felony in five years you get deported permanent)
    The prize is more than worth the effort
    Done in a fair positive way would be in alls best intrest

    March 19, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. linda

    Illegal immigrants are law-breakers and need to be deported from the US immediately.

    We cannot fee, house, educate, pay for their health care – they are
    illegal and amnesty is an issue we must not allow to happen.

    The US Congress needs to address this issue, our borders need to be tightened, and we need to remove these illegals from our country.

    March 19, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Angus McDugan

    They are wasting their time. Obama is ONLY concerned with raping the American people with ObozoCare. I wish Obama would understand that NO means NO!

    March 19, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    1. Enforce the borders with the National Guard.

    2. Do away with "anchor baby" laws.

    3. Do away with "sanctuary cities".

    4. Impose a fine on companies found to be employing illegal aliens equal to 50% of prior year gross profits. Second offense – incarceration for the CEO / owner.

    5. Impose a fine on individuals hiring illegal domestic help equal to the amount of prior year net income tax. Second offense – double. Third offense – 1 year incarceration.

    6. For uncompensated medical care given to "undocumented" aliens, impose a tarriff on the imports of the alien's country of origin in an amount equal to the cost of care provided.

    1, 2, 3, and 6 would reduce the supply. 4 and 5 would reduce the demand.

    Want to bet the problem would be dramatically reduced if these steps were taken?

    March 19, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but....

    Here's my plan. Any company caught hiring illegals has all of its assets seized by the government and auctioned off to the highest bidder. The government gets 75% of the proceeds and the whistle blower gets 25%. It won't cost taxpayers a dime and will, in fact, make money for the government as well as provide a monetary incentive for people to be on the lookout for violators. Problem solved. Have a nice day!

    March 19, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. L for Legend

    A "no" vote now means a "NO" vote in the fall. Good-bye, Stu.

    March 19, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. perryrants

    as an member of a legal immigrant family (true), i say that illegals should not get "benefits" without paying extra taxes. if you want to live in american "pay" like an american!

    I DO

    March 19, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. carmilla

    all the illegeal people should be sent back to there excuses.this evil lying sham obama will be out on his ass in 2012.the republicans will take it back this year,there going to dog obama in the ground.

    March 19, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't mind a way to help those that are illegally here gain some legal status. What I object to is them gaining citizenship. Those that came here illegally and knew what they are doing should not be given citizenship, but I could see them being allowed to have a green card. Children who are brought here illegally by their parents should be able to get citizenship upon reaching age 18 provided that they haven't had any legal problems.

    March 19, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. John

    What a ridiculous thing to say ... The organization Reform Immigration for America, which supports a path to citizenship for those in the United States illegally, says the changes it wants to see will help bring about "economic justice for all Americans."

    What that translates to is, "We're a group of partisan, pro-Latin American protestors who are trying desperately to overturn the laws of the American judicial system and allow our brethren, who are in this country illegally and breaking the laws to stay here forever, taking advantage of free health care, cash, and services from the United States taxpayers."

    Rubbish. Beat it. Go back to Mexico and get your OWN HOUSE in order first. Stop wasting time trying to break into our houses.

    March 19, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Ancient Texan

    Here we go again, another attempt to grant amnesty and citizenship to 20 million illegals in time for the 2012 elections. Of course, they must vote Democratic like everyone did during LBJ's Great Society in order to keep the welfare state in place.

    March 19, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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