Barack Obama and the immigration marches

Please go to his public appearances, ask him the following question, and then upload his response to video sharing sites. Feel free to print out this page, including the citations, for those who want more information.

Senator Obama: You spoke at the May 1, 2006 illegal immigration march in Chicago.

Those marching in our streets demanded that we change our laws, and the government of Mexico would be a major beneficiary of those changes. And, the Chicago Tribune and other sources reported that some of the key organizers of the march you attended have links to the Mexican government and Mexican political parties. (I have the citations here if anyone would like to see them.)

Leaving aside your thoughts on immigration "reform", could you please explain why you think it's appropriate for United States Senators to take part in events designed to change our laws, when those events are organized in part by those with links to foreign countries and foreign political parties? Could you please explain why you support such obvious meddling in our internal politics?

(Shorter version: Is it appropriate for United States Senators to support events with such close links to foreign citizens who are trying to change our laws, including representatives of foreign political parties?)

~~~~~~~~~~ CITATIONS ~~~~~~~~~~

  • Three of the main organizers of the May 1, 2006 Chicago march serve on an advisory board [1] to the president of Mexico associated with the "Institute of Mexicans Abroad", a state agency [2].
    1. Juan Salgado, president of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a well-known group with links to Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. That group was also involved in planning other Illinois marches, and after the March 10 event he spoke at Mexico's version of the White House (Los Pinos). [3] The ICIRR was also an organizer of the May 1 march. [4]
    2. Artemio Arreola, affiliated with Casa Michoacan. Called a "key rally organizer" of the May 1 Chicago march [5]. And, called a "key march organizer" of the same march [6]. Called a "leading union activist involved in the Chicago [May 1] protest" [7]
    3. Omar Lopez. With Arreola, co-convened the meeting that led to the March 10 Chicago march [3]. Also with Arreola, led a planning meeting for the May 1 march [8].
  • Jorge Mujica, "a top official of the PRD in Illinois" [9] was one of the lead organizers of the May 1 march [10] [11]. Also a leader of the March 10 Committee. That Committee's "List of Organization" includes Mexico's PRD, PRI, and PAN parties. [12]
  • The PRD and the Institute of Mexicans Abroad were listed as "supporters of the May Day march and rally" [11]
  • "Salvador Pedroza, president of the Illinois chapter of Calderon's National Action Party (PAN) [and] Martin Unzueta, president of the PRD's Illinois chapter... were key organizers of the massive immigrant marches in Chicago earlier this year... The march's executive committee [presumably the March 10 event] included members of Mexico's three main political parties." [13]

[1] www.ime.gob.mx/ccime/directorios/dir_ccime_06_09.htm

[2] www.ime.gob.mx

[3] "Chicago Giant put rest of country on notice", Scott Fornek, Chicago Sun-Times, April 2, 2006

[4] "Monday's immigration rally to snarl traffic, not business", Chicago Business, Lorene Yue, April 28, 2006, http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?id=20400

[5] "Protesters renew their call for Immigration rights", Antonio Olivo and Oscar Avila, Chicago Tribune, May 1, 2006

[6] "Immigrants at crossroads", Oscar Avila and Michael Martinez, Chicago Tribune, May 1, 2006 (copy at nakasec.org/bbs/view.php?id=nakasecinnews&no=17)

[7] "Organizing the new movement", Socialist Worker, Lee Sustar, April 28, 2006, socialistworker.org/2006-1/586/586_05_Organizing.shtml

[8] "May 1 Immigrant Rights March: 'Birth of a Movement'", Community Media Workshop, Gordon Mayer, April 25, 2006, newstips.org/interior.php?section=Newstips&main_id=606

[9] "In Chicago, A Tale of Two Mexican Consulates", All Things Considered, Cheryl Corley, December 2, 2006, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6570821

[10] Democracy Now, April 21st, 2006, democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/04/21/132239

[11] press releases www.modelsnewsletter.com/cee/classifieds/immigration/main.htm

[12] http://www.fightbacknews.org/flyers/2006/20060811_chicago_english.pdf

[13] "Irked Mexicans open alternate consulate", Chicago Tribune, Oscar Avila, November 29, 2006