An eclectic crowd of protesters gathered today for the March for Jobs rally in Washington, D.C. The march, which was peppered with “Don’t Tread On Me” flags and bright-red signs reading “No Amnesty!” wound its way down Pennsylvania Avenue and then up Constitution Avenue, ending near the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol. The Black American Leadership Alliance, Tea Party Community, and the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny were its sponsors. Representative Steve King of Iowa — a darling of those opposing the Gang of Eight’s legislation — spoke both before and after the march.
“You don’t sacrifice the rule of law so you can have undocumented Democrats!” the Republican legislator pronounced, to raucous applause and cheers. He also argued that only three kinds of people would support an influx of cheap labor: “Elitists, who want cheap labor to clean their houses and mow their lawn. Then you have power brokers that know that it’s cheap votes. And then you have employers of illegal labor who want more cheap labor.”
Representative King along with protesters (image credit: King’s office)
A host of the protesters wore red T-shirts that read: “Protect American Jobs / No Amnesty.” And frustration toward Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a leader of the Senate Gang of Eight, was ubiquitous. One protester, Jack Oliver, sported pins depicting the Florida Republican wearing a sombrero with “AMNISTIA!” written on the brim. Under the picture was written “RINO” and, above it, this website: www.MarcoRubioAmnestyMan.com.
Oliver told me he works in construction and that he saw his income drop by 35 percent because of illegal immigrants’ work in the drywall industry. “So that’s why we’re up here,” he said. “Same thing happened to the meatpackers. They used to make $18 an hour, now they’re making 12. Americans haven’t seen a raise in the last decade due to our legal and illegal immigration policies.”
Another woman carried a large poster with a picture of Rubio’s face and the word “SELLOUT” emblazoned below. A third protester held a sign that read:
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO
YOU ARE FIRED
The rest of the sign charged him with with supporting a plan that “will give American jobs to 33 million foreign workers” and misleading voters about his position on immigration during his 2010 Senate race
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, like King a favorite of the anti-amnesty wing of the GOP, is scheduled to speak at the march later today.