"We are here and we aren't leaving!" —Chant shouted in Spanish by illegal immigrants in Florida's "Day Without an Immigrant" protests.
If you met Ernesto, you'd probably call him a Cuban. If you asked him, however, he would tell you he's an American. His family fled Cuba when he was a child, and today he owns an auto parts business in Rhode Island. Nothing glamorous, just his small corner of the American dream.
A week before Monday's "A Day Without An Immigrant" boycott, Ernesto was visited at work by, as he described them to me, "a couple of Dominicans." They wanted to post fliers about the boycott at his business and confirm that Ernesto would be standing by his Hispanic brothers by closing up shop.
Ernesto disappointed them on all counts.
So a couple of days later, a larger group of amnesty activists — in both number and individual body mass — showed up at Ernesto's with a slightly different message. They weren't "asking" him to close. They were telling him.
As he recounted it to me, what he told them is not suitable for publication in a family newspaper. Or even this one.
I heard similar stories from several business owners in the week before the boycott. Some reported being approached directly by "activists," while others were told by their legal immigrant employees that there were being pressured "by the community" to stay away from work. One businessman told the Providence Journal he didn't want to close, "but I'm afraid if I do stay open, are they gonna ruin the place — vandalize it?"
The next day, he told me he'd been threatened for telling the newspaper he'd felt threatened by the amnesty activists.
On Monday, he was closed.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. The entire amnesty movement can be reduced to a single word: thuggery. America will change its laws. Full amnesty shall be granted. There will be no increased enforcement. For the illegal immigration advocates, there is no "democratic process." There are only demands.
The signs carried by Monday's marchers demanded nuestros derechos, "our rights." They declared the US "our land." They insulted every American citizen by arguing that we are all illegals ("No Peace On Stolen Land!"). And they've announced that legitimate American citizens are, whether they like it or not, going to change our immigration laws to suit the illegal immigrants and the government of Mexico. Or else.
If you think the word "thuggery" is too strong, ask yourself this question: When was the last time you heard an illegal immigrant ask for amnesty?
Demands for "immigrants rights" (an idiotic concept when applied to illegals) are omnipresent. But have you ever heard an illegal immigrant say, "You know what — I'm breaking your laws by being here, and I know it. I'm sorry and I shouldn't have done it. You have every right to deport me, but I'm asking you to do me a huge favor and let me stay here and somehow earn the right to be an American. Please?"
Sound familiar? Of course not, because it violates the fundamental premise of the entire pro-amnesty movement, which is that our laws are meaningless and our borders are illegitimate. Instead, we hear protest organizer Jonathan Fried call the boycott "psychological warfare." Jaime Contreras, president of the National Capital Immigration Coalition of Washington, warns us: "Rest assured, if we don't have [an amnesty] bill we can live with, we will have a general strike and a general boycott."
And not to be left out, Irish immigrant activist Thomas Keown told me that "until America puts 'reasonable' immigration laws in place, we will continue to ignore them."
Like I said, "or else."
Am I the only American who hears these threats from foreign guests living in our country and wants to shove a shillelagh right where the Irish sun don't shine? Is anyone else sick and tired of being screamed at, lectured to, and labeled a racist by a bunch of arrogant, law-breaking jerks demanding their "right" to run my country?
You wanna know something, my demanding illegal friends, it's not even about the immigration issue anymore. It's about your unbelievable, insufferable rudeness.
You are guests in my country, and — no, wait! You are intruders in my country and you have no right to demand anything. You want to take to the streets and pressure a bunch of spineless political weasels to do your bidding? Then go home to your own country and push around your own spineless weasels! Ours are taken, dammit!
Nobody likes being threatened. It's especially annoying coming from people who offer nothing except the threat of continued lawbreaking in return. Perhaps that explains why the boycott was a bust, and why Ernesto opened for business on Monday. Just like the vast majority of his fellow Americans.