It sounded like 2006 all over again: liberals and leftists plan a rally for illegal immigrants gaining an amnesty, and The Washington Post applies the usual liberal formula of pre-protest buildup: it’s going to be massive! And no one who’s organizing this is a liberal!
If the protests are large – and they were in 2006 – some credit should go to the free advertising the Post gives in advance. In this case, it was a story on the front page of Sunday's Metro section with a color photo. “Activists riding a fresh wave of optimism ahead of immigration rally,” promised the headline:
The Wednesday rally, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of immigrants from the Washington region, is part of a coordinated nationwide effort by Hispanic, labor and church groups to bolster immigration overhaul proposals. It will include marches, rallies, discussions and prayer services in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and other cities and towns with large immigrant populations.
Organizers of the Washington event expressed buoyant, almost surprised optimism last week over the rapid pace at which long-thwarted immigration proposals have gained traction in recent months and now seem tantalizingly close to becoming law.
Inside the paper, the headline is “Momentum grows ahead of D.C, rally.” The star of Pamela Constable’s story is Salvadoran immigrant Zoila Argueta, who is volunteering with the Service Employees International Union, which is never described as on the Left.
There are roadboacks since “some conservative groups are lobbying against ‘amnesty’ for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.” (Someone isn’t following the AP stylebook.)
As usual, Constable reveals the SEIU is organizing this rally with the leftists of CASA of Maryland, a Post favorite on the illegal-immigrant beat, but neither group is ever identified as liberal/leftist. CASA's press release doesn't shrink from a guess about attendance: "TENS OF THOUSANDS TO ATTEND RALLY FOR CITIZENSHIP AT NATION’S CAPITOL."
Church-state separation isn’t required on this subject:
Activists from Hispanic churches in the region said they are urging their pulpits and parishioners to spread support for an immigration bill. They are asking churchgoers to contact senators working on a bipartisan proposal for immigration, especially Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who faces heavy political pressure to water down proposals.
“We are telling everyone in the pews to write the senators, especially those that are having difficulties,” said the Rev. Eugenio Hoyos, an official of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington County, which serves about 300,000 Hispanic parishioners. On Sunday, every church will pass out bulletins in Spanish urging people to attend the march, and worshipers are being urged to tell Schumer and other legislators, ‘You can count on my support, and I hope I can count on you to support immigration reform.’ ”
Barry Lynn Alert! You know if Father Hoyos was pushing an anti-Obamacare letter-writing campaign, the Post would find that unconstitutional.
There was one anti-amnesty group quoted, Brad Botwin of Help Save Maryland, who said “The idea of a general amnesty is just wrong.”
Immediately after that quote, Constable called his opponents “pro-immigrant activists.” I suppose the Post or AP stylebook can’t be precise enough to recognize that opponents of illegal immigration often are not opponents of all immigration.