Calling on authorities to legitimise millions of workers without official papers, hundreds of thousands of people in the US yesterday left their jobs for the day, boycotted businesses and took part in marches. They are urging the government to drop plans for a new law that would make it a crime to work in the country illegally or help undocumented labourers.
One immigrant said: “If they don’t support us we will never have anything, not even respect for ourselves.” “If we stop working today, maybe we won’t have a job tomorrow,” said another worker. “We are not fighting against the honour and dignity of this country,” said another man. “We love it because it has given us a home. But nonetheless, we must demand that our rights be respected.” Among those coming down on the side of the immigrants is the Catholic church. One cardinal has even suggested he would order priests to disregard the law and continue helping undocumented workers.