They must have scared the Tom Tacredos, James Sensenbrenners & Karl Roves of the world shitless.
Conservative estimates of 500,000 from the police, probably closer to a million. Perhaps the largest demonstration in the history of Los Angeles.
And it caught the media and the politicians flatfooted.
The GOP has been playing the race-card on this issue for years now, while they've been in power they have done nothing but try play to their business side with the one hand and their bigot side with the other.
As Maz Blumenthal states:
I have just returned from the largest, most energized demonstration I have ever witnessed in my life. Over 500,000 people filled the streets of downtown Los Angeles to march against HR 4437, a bill authored by Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner (heir to the Kotex fortune) which would turn 11 million undocumented immigrants into felons, punish anyone guilty of providing them assistance, and construct an iron wall between the US and Mexico.
The rally reached a crescendo as thousands of demonstrators lined the walls and bridges above the 101 freeway waving flags and cheering while an endless parade of cars and trucks blasted their horns in support. It was the sound of a sleeping giant awakening.
In passing HR 4437 and whatever draconian and utterly counter-productive bill emerges from the Senate, the congressional Republicans have become their party's worst enemy. They have cast their white, Southern base in conflict with the Latino constituency the RNC and the Bush White House realize they must win over if they are ever to achieve a so-called "Republican majority."
I am not an expert on this issue, but nonetheless while the problem is big, the only reasonable solution doesn't seem to be that difficult, and completely routine.
Assist Mexico have a better economy and prosecute employers who hire illegal immigrants.
You can't build a wall and you can't just deport massive numbers of immigrants if the economic prospects of employment are still better. As long as business can get away with affordable fines and relative lack of punishment, how is the matter going to not continue? The market encourages the exploitation of illegals in droves -- it makes company's a shitload of profit.
Punishing employers is not a sexy policy nor a bigoted one. Therefore, it will never get anywhere under the Republicans.