10,000 immigrants, refugees and their allies are expected to descend on Pioneer Square this Saturday, in what is surely to be one of the largest pro-immigration reform rallies in the nation. So I wonder… will our local media bother to muster the same kind of coverage they routinely lavish on a couple hundred angry teabaggers?
If history is any indication, I’m guessing not.
Nearly one in six Washingtonians are Latino or Asian and 12.3% are foreign born. Immigrants comprise 14.2% of the state workforce, and pay 13.2% of state and local taxes. And of course our state’s vital agricultural industry is as dependent on immigrant workers, documented or not, as it is on the vast network of dams and ditches that irrigate its fields.
But although “New Americans” — naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants — account for 7.5% of Washington’s registered voters, and despite the huge impact immigration reform would have on our state’s residents and economy, the immigration reform debate receives surprisingly little attention from our local politicians and journalists beyond the usual hyperbolic sound bites.
Well, you can help the establishment types take notice and join the Stand Up in Seattle for Immigration Reform Rally, Saturday, April 10, in Seattle’s Occidental Park. Gates will open at 11 a.m., and the program of entertainment and featured speakers is scheduled to start at noon, so please stop by and show your support for rational, humane immigration reform.
I know it’s not quite as compelling a story as a few dozen angry old white folks with scary, misspelled signs, but together, perhaps we can make up in numbers what we lack in a marketable trope.