Groundswell Meets Groundwork

Ted Wang and Robert C. Winn

in Rallying for Immigrant Rights

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948914 | DOI:
Groundswell Meets Groundwork

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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

Chapter.  6829 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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