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Immigrants Organize Economic Boycotts Across United States

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participated in economic boycotts across the United States. Two guests discuss the motivations of the protesters and the future of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    What was the impact of today's immigration protests? And where does the movement go from here?

    We get two perspectives. Juan Jose Gutierrez is director of Latino Movement USA, a Los Angeles-based group that helped organize today's boycott.

    And Leslie Sanchez is chief executive officer of the Impacto Group, a market research firm focused on the Hispanic community. She served as director of the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education under the first President Bush.

    Juan Jose Gutierrez, you were one of the organizers. Did what you envisioned come about? And what was the message it sent to the rest of the country?

  • JUAN JOSE GUTIERREZ, Latino Movement USA:

    What I envisioned that is going to happen as a result of this very remarkable and historic day is that the American people are going to begin paying attention to the very just quest by immigrants for legalization.

    I think that, as every poll is beginning to indicate, the tide is turning. And today's boycott, today's incredible day, is going to make Americans move fast in the direction of doing the right thing, of urging Congress and the president of the United States, who have been politicking on this issue for way too long.

    I think the time for doing that is over. The American people are impatient. They're sick and tired of the polarizing over this issue. They want to do the right thing.

    They know that these people are the ones that are doing the tough jobs that nobody else wants to do. They're taking care of their kids. They're their neighbors. They're the people that serve them food, wash the dishes, and do all the dirty work that needs to be done that other people don't want to do.

    And, you know, ultimately I think that the American people is going to see right through all the politicizing of this issue, and the wrong way, and say, "You know what? We need to do the right thing. Let's legislate a comprehensive immigration reform that allows people to become legalized, that lays out a clear path to citizenship for those that choose to become Americans citizens."

    I do believe that the majority of these immigrants is going to embrace citizenship given the chance, and I think that this country will be so much the better for it.

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