4/8/2006 Houston -- With another round of protests on behalf of immigrant rights approaching, city officials and community activists on Friday asked students to stay in class and allow parents to take the lead in the April 10th Coalition March.
Organizers are encouraging protesters to bring their country's flag as well as the American flag, which will be displayed on stage at the planned rally Monday. Marchers will gather at Guadalupe Plaza, then head downtown and rally near Allen's Landing.
Organizers estimate 5,000 to 10,000 protesters will be at the afternoon rally. A candlelight vigil also is set for the University of St. Thomas later that night. The furor that students lit because of the absence of the U.S. flag during their recent protests hasn't died out. It is still a talking point on national talk shows and still a divisive issue in the Hispanic community. On Monday's rally, protest organizers will hand out American flags to those who cannot afford to buy one.
On the Asian-American community front in Houston, leaders in the community called on their the Asian-American people to support the demonstration and show solidarity for immigration reform. "If we don't do this for us, no one will. It is time for us to speak out," said Alice Chen, chairwoman-elect of the Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Others in the community tend to disagree and says we should not encourage giving illegal immigrants worker status thus allowing them to come in freely. "Why should law-abiding immigrants have to wait to come to America anymore?" says a young lady who is on the waiting list for citizenship. "If illegal immigrants can have a voice in America for breaking the law, what is next?" Leaders say there are likely thousands of Asian-Americans in Houston illegally.
(Contributed by Eyder Peralta and Salatheia Bryant of the Houston Chronicle)