Comment by Summer – I’m highlighting this comment and my response to it, as Summer makes a good point. I was wrong to say that all folks who support tighter immigration controls are necessarily racists. I do think many of those folks are racists, but it’s not fair to assume that.

Here’s some other items on the issue of immigration from the media of late that I thought were interesting. Sorry these posts are all over the place, but I need to get them posted asap before they turn stale. Hispanics visit for debate, are turned away (thanks go to’s Oklahoma Media Watch Blog for this link)

At least eight young Hispanics were turned away from the state Capitol when they showed up to watch debate on an immigration bill, and others apparently gave up after finding locked doors.

The confusion Tuesday night was due to security procedures and a misunderstanding on the part of a state trooper working security at the Capitol’s east doors, said Lt. Rusty Rhoades, head of the Capitol Patrol.

“It’s everybody’s constitutional right to come and view government. We’d never deny that,” Rhoades said.

Karla Santos, 16, no longer was sure of her rights after being refused entry.

“Isn’t it everybody’s right to be in there?” she asked Wednesday. “I think it should be.”

. . . Rep. Opio Toure, D-Oklahoma City, said there is no excuse for a trooper assigned to even a single shift at the Capitol not to know the hours doors are to be open.

“It’s an outrage for citizens to be turned away from the building, especially when the Legislature is debating an issue very important to them,” Toure said.

Santos had been listening to Spanish-language radio stations, which urged people to go to the Capitol to show the community’s opposition to the immigration bill. The bill, which passed 63-24, would require state employees to report to immigration authorities anyone seeking services who can’t provide proof of citizenship.

“We went down there because we wanted to make a difference,” she said.

Call me a sceptic, but I got a feeling that a white lobbyist wouldn’t have been turned away.

NewsOK: Workers to rally against proposal

. . . Juvenal Luna, manager of Chelino’s in Bricktown, said all the locally owned chain’s restaurants will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. so employees can participate.

Across the street at Abuelo’s, manager Ray Baca said he will remain open but is granting time off to employees wishing to attend the rally.

At Western Lawns, owner Lorne Hall discussed the rally with employees but didn’t need to make any special time-off allowances since he tries to avoid scheduling jobs on weekends.

At Chelino’s, Luna said he shares concerns by his employees that Hispanic’s contributions are being taken for granted amidst the debate by state and federal lawmakers over immigration.

The rhetoric, he said, has concerned not just Mexican-Americans, but Hispanics of all backgrounds living and working in Oklahoma.

“They will be going in a peaceable manner, taking hands together, and praying to unify voice and to find a balance that is just,” Luna said. “We understand we have a problem. For five-plus years, nothing has been done to fix the problem.”

Ed Romo, past president of League of United Latin American Citizens, said his group is urging all Hispanics to attend the rally, but “stopped short of recommending they close shop.”

“It’s something they can choose to do,” Romo said. “It impresses me that Chelino’s is doing just that. It is urgent that people be there … It’s a historic event.”

I must say I’m tickled pink by the actions of the Chelino’s chain of closing for the rally, and by Abuelo’s giving their employees time off work (it is funny actually, but our Green Party group who attended the rally ate at Abuelo’s afterwards, so I’m glad to hear they are supportive) City students join protests (this story is about the walk-outs at Capital Hill High School. I’m so proud of these students in their dignified but proud protest)

LULAC: CALL and PRESSURE YOUR SENATORS NOW: Stop the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 — Prevent Anti-Immigrant Bills From Becoming Law! (this is about the federal legislation that is also pending right now)

MSNBC/Newsweek: A World Away — They grew up with cheeseburgers and MTV in America, but now find themselves sent to Cambodia—a truly foreign land.