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Rallying for Immigrant RightsThe Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America$
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Kim Voss

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267541

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267541.001.0001

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Groundswell Meets Groundwork

Groundswell Meets Groundwork

Building on the Mobilizations to Empower Immigrant Communities

Chapter:
(p.44) 2 Groundswell Meets Groundwork
Source:
Rallying for Immigrant Rights
Author(s):

Ted Wang

Robert C. Winn

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267541.003.0002

In the spring of 2006, millions of immigrants and their allies participated in hundreds of marches across the United States. Broad coalitions that had convened to support comprehensive immigration reform played important roles in mobilizing support for the demonstrations as well as coordinating and shaping public messages. This chapter provides a glimpse of the dynamics and the constituencies involved in the events of 2006, and how they began laying the groundwork for future activities that could empower immigrants and strengthen the broader social justice movement. The major catalyst for the groundswell was the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of H. R. 4437 in December 2005, particularly its harsh provisions and enforcement only approach to immigration reform. Ethnic media closely followed the progress of immigration reform legislation and helped keep immigrant communities informed of the potential ramifications. While the mass mobilizations were characterized by an unusually high degree of peacefulness, anti-immigrant groups used the images of the marches to galvanize their base and to advocate for more enforcement measures targeting unauthorized immigrants.

Keywords:   United States, immigrants, social justice movement, mass mobilizations, anti-immigrant groups, H. R. 4437, immigration reform, ethnic media, coalitions

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