The Times Embraces Another Liberal Rally on the Hill: Illegal Immigration

Unlike the paper's sour coverage of the September 12 anti-spending rally, Ian Urbina's profile of Tuesday's rally for amnesty was stocked with nothing but positive vibes.

Ian Urbina's online-only story on Tuesday's rally for amnesty for illegal immigrants on the West Lawn was optimistically headlined "Immigration Rally Draws Thousands."

Unlike the paper's sour coverage of the much larger conservative rally on the National Mall September 12, in which protesters were termed "angry" and "profane" with "no shortage of vitriol," Urbina found no critics and nothing to criticize about the illegal immigrant march. The word "angry" did not appear in his story.

Thousands of immigrants came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a day of lobbying and an afternoon rally calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

The event was timed to the unveiling of an immigration bill by Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, Democrat of Illinois and chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.


Tuesday's event was sponsored by various immigrant advocacy groups, including the Reform Immigration for America campaign, the National Capital Immigration Coalition and Families United/Familias Unidas. It attracted convoys of buses, vans and cars carrying more than 3,000 demonstrators from at least 17 states.

Immigrants, religious leaders, members of Congress and immigrant advocates planned to gather on the West Lawn for speeches and a prayer vigil at 3 p.m. Similar rallies were being held in at least 20 cities around the nation, including Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Denver and Albany.

Urbina quoted sympathetically and at length three supporters (and zero opponents) of the various amnesty bills floating around Capitol Hill.

"I'm here representing the undocumented workers who cleaned ground zero and its surrounding area after the 9/11 terrorist attacks," said Rubiela Arias, 43, an illegal immigrant from Colombia who came to Washington with an immigrant advocacy group called Make the Road New York.

Ms. Arias described how she came from Medellín to New York in 1998 with her 5-year-old son, seeking a safer place for her family.

"I worked for eight months cleaning the dust and debris surrounding the World Trade Center," said Ms. Arias, who cleans offices in Manhattan and was dressed in a light-blue T-shirt with a sticker reading, "Reform Immigration for America." "There was no question about immigration status. We were all New Yorkers; we were all Americans."


A main purpose of the rally was to highlight the way current immigration law splits families.

"Families deserve better than this from our government," said Peter Derezinski, a 17-year-old high school senior and a United States citizen whose father was deported to Poland in April 2008 after 18 years as a truck driver and an air-conditioning repairman in Chicago.