The passion and fervor was overwhelming at the protests in response to the crackdown
on illegal immigration in March of 2006. Half a million people in Los Angeles peacefully
marched to show their disapproval. In the months following, ten of thousands of other people
joined in cities all across the U.S. In cities like Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago and Dallas(AP,
2006) , we saw tens of thousands marching with white shirts and flags of Mexico and
Guatemala, making it clear that this wasn't a an issue to be taken lightly.
Despite exceeding 11 million in 2006, these undocumented workers were
disenfranchised and vilified by political rhetoric. They were exercising what they felt like was
their sole political recourse. This mass exhibition of protests was in response to legislation
which would raise penalties for Illegal immigration and classify undocumented immigrants
and anyone who helped them enter or remain in the US as felon.
This heated debate, that would determine the future of millions of people living in the
United States, was faced with a difficult dilemma of solving a sensitive human issue in a
cutthroat political arena. Two mainstream ideas emerged in this debate; the first, emphasized
border security and law enforcement, and the second relied on government ID programs and
employers to police the workplace. We were experiencing a national problem of human
beings living in the United States without representation and living as a lower class worker. It's
no wonder this topic dominated the public sphere. This popularity attracted all types of
politicians and people with differing of ideas and opinions. One of these voices was Michael
Dukakis, the former governor of Massachusetts and former democratic presidential
candidate. He detailed his assessment in an op-ed piece for The New York Times.
In "Raise wages, not walls", Michael Dukakis attempted...