Any elementary school civics student knows that America has long been considered a "melting pot." The idea is that people from across the globe can come to this country and make a living and pave the pathway to a better life. "The streets are paved with gold," in America, the saying goes, and this is because the power lies with the individual. No matter what economic or social background a person may have, in America, at least ideally, everybody is equal before the eyes of God and the law. This is because of the basic rights that are guaranteed all Americans in the, Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The First Amendment, in fact, guarantees that all Americans should have the right to free religion, speech, and assembly. The fact that the right of assembly is included with religion and speech speaks volumes about the importance the Founding Fathers placed on the power of protest.
As the firestorm over immigration laws grows, Mexican students have exercised their right to protest. Students across the country should feel free to walk out or protest the proposed House immigration bill in any way they see fit, because doing so not only re-affirms their ethnic identity, but it re-affirms their identity as Americans and demonstrates the power that all Americans possess.
By protesting the immigration bill, these students are demonstrating a pride in their heritage that is not often seen in American students. This pride is important, not only from a self-esteem standpoint, but also in a very real social context. For as much as Americans like to think that we have come a long way from the days of intolerance and bigotry, those days were really not that long ago. Moctesuma Esparza, producer of the film Walkout,