Today thousands of hispanic immigrants, many of them illegals, took a day off from work to demonstrate for "immigrant "rights". The idea is to have a one-day "strike" to show the US how dependent we are on the work done by hispanic immigrants. It is a somewhat-less-drastic version of Ayn Rand's character John Galt who decided to "stop the engine of the world" by inspiring scientists, engineers and industrialists to drop out of society.
Anyone who has read my blog in recent months knows that I am generally sympathetic to the idea of immigration reforms that would provide our current illegals with an opportunity to continue to work here. (I also support building a wall/fence/whatever to keep more from arriving until we have dealt with the ones we have now.) But, like I said, I am sympathetic to the situation of the illegals, most of whom I see as working very hard, living modestly, and making very little trouble.
Todays demonstrations are a big mistake for the immigrant community. They are doing themselves no good by letting a few ethnicity pimps make them seem Anti-American -- something which they overwhelmingly are not. The average illegal immigrant has come to the US to work hard and try to make a buck -- money which they send back to their families in Mexico by the billions. They have not come here as reconquistadores who want to take back the South West US because it was "stolen" from Mexico. They have come here to mow grass and pick fruit. The whole "re-conquest" thing comes from a few pointy-headed college professors and from a handfull of leftist "activists" who use the issue to grab for the microphone and to claim to represent the marchers.
The fact of the matter is that the hispanic workers aren't important enough to the economy to make much difference by taking a day off -- or by disappearing altogether. Having them around is good for the economy -- but not so good that we couldn't do without them. I support a guest-worker plan of some sort for humanitarian reasons -- not because I think the economy can't get by without one. So the message sent by the demonstrations will not be that the immigrants are necessary -- but that the are ungrateful and demanding. They are less likely, rather than more, to get fair, sensible treatment from the federal government now that they have further alienated the voting public.
Of course this all suits the ethnicity pimps just fine. The more polarized and poisonous the atmosphere of the immigration debate in this country the more power and media attention they will get. Your average low-wage hispanic worker is not particularly savvy, politically speaking. While you watch the news coverage of today's events please bear in mind that most of the people out there marching behind their Mexican flags have no notion what message they are sending.