About 250 people gathered in front of the Occidental Building in north Dallas on Monday to demand rights for millions of illegal aliens living in the United States. The demonstration was aimed at Senator John Cornyn, whose Dallas office is inside the building.
The crowd chanted in both Spanish and English, saying, “The people, united, will never be defeated” and “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”.
The demonstration was part of the nationwide day for illegal aliens and their supporters to boycott work, school, and spending in order to show their economic importance to the country.
A handful of counter-protestors gathered near the demonstration. “I’m against illegal immigration,” said Mazhar Zia, who is a Plano resident. “It depresses wages and uses resources that the illegal immigrants are not paying for.”
The demonstrators, which marched in a circle around the driveway of the Occidental Building, carried a variety of signs. Some signs showed opposition to the apparently obsolete House bill HR 4437. Another sign read, “We’ve lived in this country for 2000 years.”
One man from Terlingua said that he supported giving Mexican workers the paper documents necessary for them to be citizens in the United States. “For us to deny the paper permits to Mexicans that come here for a good honest day’s work is hypocritical,” said Jim Goodnow. Goodnow said he believes that everyone living in America is an immigrant except for the Native Americans.
Romanita Matta-Barrera, the Texas Media Director for Senator Cornyn, said that the demonstration was expected. “The only surprise is that we never received a normal meeting request from any of the folks out here,” said Barrera. “That was disappointing.”
Barrera said that the Senator continues to support comprehensive reform for the illegal immigration problem and that he hopes reform will include stronger border enforcement and a temporary worker program.
It is worth noting that two other Dallas area schools made the top 20 in NEWSWEEK's list of top 1000 high schools. North Hills School, an Irving Charter School, came in at 12 and Highland Park HS ranked 18. The next Dallas area school was Colleyville Heritage which ranked 119 although Diamond Hill Jarvis in Fort Worth ranked 95. Plano's Plano West ranked 218. NEWSWEEK's goal is to rank a school's ability to prepare student for college. They do this by dividing the number of AP and IB test taken by the number of dividing seniors. The method certainly has its flaws but also provides some direction.
Say what you will, and with respect to our resident economist who divines bad news beneath some of the numbers he studies, but the Texas economy is doing pretty darn good, if you can believe what the Dallas Fed has to say.
The Texas economy moved ahead at a solid pace in March, according to the Dallas Fed's Texas Coincident Index — a business-cycle index of current economic indicators. The index rose 3.1 percent (annualized) during the month and was up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
In addition, Texas’ labor market continued to expand in March, adding 17,400 jobs, a 2.1 percent annualized rate of growth (see table). Year-to-date, the state has added 49,500 new jobs on net.
The Dallas economy continued its upward momentum in March as its business-cycle index rose 2.5 percent. Employment increased at a 2.2 percent annualized rate, with gains coming mostly in the service sector, particularly professional and business services and health and educational services.
Residential and commercial construction activity continues to strengthen in the metro, and anecdotal evidence suggests relocations and business expansions are helping drive the demand. Year-to-date, Dallas has added 11,600 jobs—outpacing the other major Texas metros.
Fort Worth’s economy rose at a good clip in March, with its business-cycle index up 2.8 percent (annualized) and employment up 2.4 percent. Many of the job gains during the month were concentrated in trade, transportation and utilities and construction and mining, with anecdotal reports suggesting an increase in industrial expansions related to the transportation industry. Professional and business services employment was also up. For the year, Fort Worth has added 3,700 jobs on net.
According to a Rasmussen poll released today just 24% of Americans hold a “favorable” opinion of immigration protestors while fully 52% have an unfavorable opinion. Amazingly 24% seem to be from Mars and have either no knowledge or no opinion. Also, only 14% believe those who oppose broader immigration are “racist” versus 67% who say they are not. By 67% to 12% those polled oppose full amnesty which many organizers of today’s walk-out say is their goal. In fact Rasmussen found that 67% oppose any additional laws until the US has gained control of its borders and 70% favor strict penalties for businesses and individuals who employee illegal aliens.
A NBC/Wall St. Journal poll released today finds the country split evenly, 45% to 45%, over whether immigration helps more or hurts more. The poll did not use “illegal” immigration. The poll also found Americans evenly split over building a wall along the US/Mexico border. However, when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants 61% say they should be allowed to stay while 35% say they should be deported.
The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reports that an estimated 3,000 people of mostly Vietnamese-American background protested the flying of a North Vietnamese flag at the UT-Arlington on Sunday. The protest was held on 31-year anniversary of the fall of Saigon.
According to the Star-Telegram, people became angered when university officials recently decided to raise the North Vietnamese flag in Nedderman Hall in order to represent the foreign engineering students that are from Vietnam and that have attended UT-Arlington. The university has done the same for students from other countries.
Sunday’s protestors were angered by the fact that the university would not also fly the flag that formerly belonged to South Vietnam.
Believe it or not there's a little good news about a Dallas school - the May 8 issue of Newsweek Magazine ranks the Dallas School for the Talented and Gifted as the top school in the country. Dallas School of Science and Engineering came in at number eight.
There are indications that Monday’s boycotts, which are aimed at showing the economic power of the nation’s Hispanic immigrants, may not have the impact that organizers are hoping for. The Houston Chronicle reports that many undocumented workers can’t afford to not work for a day or simply haven’t heard about the planned boycott.