Disharmony over May 1 immigrant boycott

April 27, 2006 at 11:02 AM
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PHOENIX, April 27 (UPI) -- There is little unity among immigrant rights leaders nationwide over the planned May 1 economic boycott, various newspapers reported Thursday.

Even the name of the event, originally dubbed "Day without an Immigrant" is being challenged around the country, with some preferring "Great American Boycott," or simply a "Day of Action."

Following nationwide rallies in late March and early April, immigrants' rights advocates called for all of the country's 12 million illegal immigrants to stay off work to show their role in the economy.

In Texas, some Latino journalists have openly criticized the pro-immigrant rallies, while others are ambivalent or have steered clear of the issue, the Houston Chronicle reported.

As the U.S. Senate this week returned to work on an immigration reform bill, the National Capital Immigration Coalition is not endorsing the boycott. Instead, the coalition is hosting community gatherings, voter-registration drives and rallies in the capital, the Arizona Republic reported.

While the New York Times said in some areas of the country immigrants were fired after skipping work to attend rallies in April, a backlash seems unlikely in liberal Santa Fe, where some business owners told the Santa Fe New Mexican they will close their businesses in solidarity with their immigrant employees.

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