Rain may dampen the impulse to march, but immigration remains the story of the day on multiple fronts. District officials say they will lock down LAUSD schools once students arrive this morning. There were five arrests yesterday in Van Nuys, and the count of students who walked out was revised upward to 26,000. In Washington, the Judiciary Committee sent to the Senate a more liberal version of immigration reform than the House had passed, with all the no votes Monday coming from Republicans. Plus Gov. Schwarzenegger signs his name to an LAT op-ed that calls for a middle course, and it's a formative time for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's image.
Washington coverage: New York Times, LAT main, LAT analysis of GOP, Post main, Post analysis, Daily News.
Plus: La Opinión's promised interview with President Bush, and front-page Spanish-language coverage of the day's events.
Excerpt from Gov. Schwarzenegger's piece on the LAT op-ed page:
A few days ago, huge crowds assembled in California and proclaimed: "Aqui estamos." I say to each one of them: Yes, we are here. Now we must ask: Where do we go from here?
As our nation begins a national debate on immigration, I propose that we lower our voices and lift our sights. We need a debate that attacks the issue without attacking individuals. And we need a comprehensive new law that respects immigrants and protects our nation. Frankly, the debate in Congress thus far has focused too much on politics and too little on principles. Ever since I first ran for office, I've talked about the importance of having a comprehensive immigration policy. Now the moment has arrived....
Turn the page to continue with Schwarzenegger, some other news of the day and links to the front pages...
Photo: Long Beach Press-Telegram/Tracey Roman
The governor's op-ed continues:
Criminalizing immigrants for coming here is a slogan, not a solution. Instead, I urge Congress to get tough on those illegal immigrants who are a danger to society. If an illegal immigrant commits a serious crime, he must leave the country — one strike and you're out. No excuses, no delays.
Second, immigration is about our economy. The freest nation in the world, and the freest economy in history, depend on a free flow of people. Immigrants are here to work and contribute. I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the workers they need and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. We should pass a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented.
We can embrace the immigrant without endorsing illegal immigration. Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally is not just amnesty … it's anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way.
OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano also contributed an LAT op-ed:
Sure, there were Mexican flags, and people shouted "Me-xi-co! Me-xi-co!" as if they were cheering on the tricolor soccer squad. But the chatter on the streets was that of assimilation. The most telling sign was the young people at the protest — the children of immigrants, who chanted in Spanish then talked to each other in perfect English. They are the legacy of the illegal immigrants — the reason why the illegals want to belong.
Meanwhile, the Times op-ed page gave Joel Stein space to try to be witty about immigration. I don't think he did anything to disabuse those who think he's a lightweight.
Keep an eye on: Mayor Villaraigosa. His national image and possibly his political future is being shaped by the attention turned on Los Angeles. He's the leading Latino city official in the country, one with a past as an organizer and teenaged rabble-rouser. He has been noticeably un-fiery in his statements about Saturday's march and what has followed since. He looks to have chosen to project a moderate tone, reminding people that a country has a duty to protect its borders, while expressing compassion for immigrant families that could be shattered under the most dire of the scenarios being cooked up in Washington. Yesterday he came out to the City Hall lawn not to rouse the protesters' passions, which might have been his old union-organizer way, but to urge students to go back to school. The morning crowd greeted him cordially, but by the afternoon it looked on TV as if Villaraigosa was being shouted down.
Other items for a Tuesday: