The New York Times' long propaganda campaign supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants continued on the front of Thursday's National section, led by the paper's most slanted immigration reporter, Julia Preston -- "U.S. Citizens Join Illegal Immigrants In Pressing Lawmakers for Change."
Preston can hardly contain her enthusiasm for the movement, especially when she's discussing the "Dreamers" – the young people brought to the country illegally pushing for an accelerated path to citizenship.
The story came with one big photo of protesters crossing a street on Capitol Hill, another of a teenager who had penned a deep statement ("Say Yes") on his palms: "Nicolas Paseiro, 17, from Argentina, showed off a message to Senator Marco Rubio at a rally for immigration reform Sunday in Miami."
On her trip to Washington to push for an overhaul of immigration laws, Cindy Garcia on Wednesday went straight to the office of Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, to tell him about how the looming deportation of her husband had affected her family.
Ms. Garcia, 40, is an autoworker from Detroit and an American citizen. She said she and her husband, a Mexican who has been living in the United States illegally for decades, since he was 10, had spent more than $50,000 over eight years on lawyers’ fees trying to fix his immigration status, to no avail.
Speaking emotionally in the senator’s office during a brief protest, Ms. Garcia said her two children, also American citizens, live on edge, fearing they could be separated from their father at any time. She and other advocates chose to focus on Mr. Rubio because he has been a leader in talks among a bipartisan group of senators who are working to craft immigration legislation.
In 2007, when Congress last tried --and failed -- to pass a similarly broad overhaul, much of the action by groups that supported that effort came during pitched battles over policy positions, fought largely behind closed doors. The populist momentum came from Americans who angrily opposed that proposal, which they said would give a break to immigrants they saw as lawbreakers.
This year, the forces favoring comprehensive legislation are showing new levels of confidence and organization, and, in a change from six years ago, illegal immigrants and their American citizen family members, like Ms. Garcia, are stepping forward to speak for themselves.
After ginning up momentum for the movement (which has been optimistic before – as in 2007 – only to be crushed by political reality) Preston undertook her usual free public relations for the group's barnstorming activism involving cross-country bus tours:
About 200 activists who participated in the bus tours showed up at a hearing Wednesday on Capitol Hill where family members, including many American citizens, described the toll of deportation on their families.
“We’ve spent the last five years building a lot of strength in the field,” said Ryan Bates, director of the Alliance for Immigrants Rights and Reform, a Michigan group. “We have political infrastructure now that is light-years beyond what we had during the last opportunity to pass reform,” he said.
Preston concluded with triumph.
In the intense activity supporting reform this week, young immigrants who call themselves Dreamers -- after legislation known as the Dream Act, which would give them a special path to citizenship -- said they were starting a nationwide program of events where they would “come out” to declare their illegal immigration status with their parents and other family members.
“As an organizer, for years you keep hitting your head against the wall,” Joshua Hoyt, chief strategist of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said Wednesday. “Then you get to a tipping point, and all of a sudden the dam breaks open and things start happening very quickly.
“That,” Mr. Hoyt said, “is what is happening right now.”