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Immigrant Rights Protests in Washington State, Spring 2006

by Katherine Cavanaugh

On May 1, 2006, between 1.6 and 2.2 million protesters across the United States participated in one of the largest labor strikes, boycotts, and marches of the decade.[1]  Known by many names: “la gran marcha,” “la huelga nacional,” “el día sin inmigrantes”/“the day without immigrants,” May 1 was a stunning display of unity and power among immigrants — documented and undocumented. The marches that day were part of an immigrant rights campaign that had been building for months involving protests in more than 200 cities and towns, including many communities in Washington State. The protests arose in reaction to decades of proliferating nativism, which had culminated with the passing of H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, in the House of Representatives. The bill posed a massive threat to undocumented immigrants and allies. In response, in the spring of 2006, undocumented immigrants and young students mobilized at unprecedented levels.[2]

While press coverage focused on the massive protests in Los Angeles (650,000-700,000 participants), Chicago (400,000-750,000), and other big cities, something remarkable was underway in smaller cities and rural areas where immigrant workers and Latinx high school students were staging some of the first visible protests in recent memory. This was the case in Washington State. The movement began in Seattle on March 4 with a small street rally and march by day laborers associated with Casa Latina. It then spread to Yakima, Granger, Monroe, Lynwood, and Mount Vernon, small cities in the state's valleys where Latinx high school students staged walkouts. On April 10 a massive march in Seattle attracted somewhere between 25,000- 65,000 participants, to be followed by an even bigger march on May 1.

This essay analyzes why this massive protest movement arose by taking a closer look at the movement in Washington State. Unlike many social movements, the protests of Spring 2006 were not organized by national groups. Although Latino radio stations helped publicize some of the actions, much of the organizing work was done at the local level by grass roots networks. [4] Local groups came together to form citywide coalitions. Scholars have written about the rise of the movement on the national level, but less attention has been given to local movements.[5] This essay relies primarily on local newspapers, organizational and archival records, and interviews with the following participants: Oscar Rosales Castañeda, a leader of  MEChA at the University of Washington in Seattle, Josue Estrada, active in the Washington State University chapter of MEChA, Maria Cuevas, an organizer with MEChA at Yakima Valley Community College, and Carlos Marentes, an activist with El Comité in Seattle. 

The Sensenbrenner Bill

On December 16, 2005, the United States House of Representatives passed The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act. Sponsored by Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner, the bill became known as the “Sensenbrenner Bill.” It passed 239 to 182, with 92% of Republicans supporting and 82% of Democrats opposing. Among other punitive measures (erecting a US-Mexico border fence, increasing the penalty for hiring undocumented workers, prohibiting sanctuary states/cities, requiring high-tech document control), the bill made residing in the United States without proper documentation a felony, destroying any hope that undocumented immigrants could one day become citizens. Additionally, smuggling laws were adjusted, effectively criminalizing any who assisted undocumented immigrants. Doctors, priests, and social workers could become felons, facing up to 5 years in federal prison.[6] 

Residing in the United States without proper documentation has long since been considered a civil offense, comparable to jaywalking or getting a speeding ticket. This bill was by far the most draconian example of a rising trend in US immigration law, shifting unauthorized immigration from a civil offense to a criminal offense,[7] and in this case, a felony. The trend reflects growing nativist attitudes in the US since the 1980s, especially within the Republican Party.

Mobilizing Starts

Nationwide, the first protests were relatively small. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2006, protesters across the mid-Atlantic region organized a strike, which attracted an estimated 5,000 participants.[8] On March 4, 12 immigrant day laborers – members of la Red Nacional de Jornaleros (National Network of Day Laborers) – began a two-month, 2,850-mile relay run from Los Angeles to New York, to pressure congress and protest the exploitation of undocumented workers – “the Day Laborers’ Run for Peace and Dignity.”[9] Along the way, the relay runners would speak at work sites to inform day laborers of their rights and rally support for future protests in April and May.[10] As with most earlier protests, this was mostly only covered by Spanish-language newspapers. In response, groups across cities would organize marches of solidarity.[11] In Seattle, day laborers organized by Casa Latina marched through Belltown on March 4.[12]

In the following days, an organizing coalition formed in Seattle consisting of the following groups:  El Comité Pro-Amnistía General y Justicia Social, Casa Latina, LELO, Tenants Union of WA State, Centro de la Raza, Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, Churches of St. Mary's, SEIU Local 6, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Hate Free Zone, NW Federation of Community Organizations, NW Immigrant Rights Project, Community Alliance for Global Justice, Citizen Action of WA, Centro Latino de Tacoma, MEChA de University of Washington, MEChA de Skagit Valley Community College, MEChA de Evergreen State College, Cascade People's Center, Seattle Jobs with Justice, Arab American Community Coalition, Japanese American Citizens League, Washington State Jobs with Justice, Institute for Washington's Future, UNITE HERE Local 8, Seattle International Human Rights Coalition, Committee for Truth and Justice in Ireland, Latino Democrats, and the Latino Political Action Committee.[13]

This coalition became known as the Washington Immigrant Rights Action Coalition, and later the May First Action Coalition. Although the combined influence of this massive coalition was instrumental, some organizations and individuals were critical. They included Casa Latina (an immigrant day laborer center), El Comité  (a social justice coalition formed in the wake of the 1999 WTO protests), the MEChA chapters, and Seattle’s Catholic churches.

In rural areas of the state, the movement had a different dynamic. In the Yakima valley, for instance, organizing was more grassroots and led by high school and college students, with support from experienced organizers from previous Latino/Chicano social movements. Churches, especially Saint Michael's, were key. Most marches and rallies began at churches in Yakima and rallies would begin with speeches from religious leaders.

The protests of the spring of 2006 were a shock to many. Across the United States, undocumented immigrants and young people were suddenly politically active at an unprecedented level. Undocumented immigrants had until then been politically visible. They could not vote, lobby, or influence representatives. In other words, traditional forms of political participation were not accessible to the primary group the bill would affect. However, on local levels, undocumented immigrants became politically active in reaction to the bill. This is significant, as walkouts, strikes, boycotts, and protests involved a significant level of risk for undocumented immigrants. Journalists and politicians were also surprised by the participation of young people. Middle school, high school, and college students were some of the most important organizers in many cities. This marked one of the first significant mobilizations for members of the millennial generation.

By mid-March, protest rallies and marches became commonplace, an almost-daily occurrence across the United States. On March 10, an estimated 300,000 people turned out for a march in Chicago.[14] In Seattle on March 18, immigrants and other community allies met at the Holy Family Church to begin a march through the South Park area.[15] It’s important to note that early on, Catholic churches became a significant force in the coalition against the bill. Spanish-speaking churches, such as Seattle’s St. Mary’s Church in the Central District, had long been helping undocumented immigrants with food, rent, and other resources. The new bill would criminalize the aid offered by these churches.

 March 25-April 2 Walkouts

Starting Saturday March 25 and during the following week, many protests and student walkouts occurred. The largest protest was in Los Angeles on March 25, when 250,000-500,000 protesters marched.[16] In Detroit, over 50,000 protested on Monday, the 27th. More significant were the student walkouts in the days following. In Los Angeles, 25,000-40,000 students walked out of their high school and college classes on Monday.[17] On the same day, students in the Yakima Valley organized a walkout. It was reported that more than 400 high school and college students across the Yakima region participated. Students gathered at Eisenhower High School, Davis High School, and Yakima Valley Community College, then marched to Lions Park for a rally. Two students were arrested for supposedly “getting physical with officers.”[18] On Friday, March 31, 40 students in the lower Yakima Valley community of Granger walked out of school and marched downtown. On the same day, a rally was held independently at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Yakima.[19] Although 40 seems small, it is important to note the significance of an independently organized student protest in a community like Granger; Granger has a population less than 3,000, is deeply conservative, and is about 30 miles from Yakima (the largest nearby city). These may have been the first significant student walkouts ever in the Yakima Valley.

Unlike the larger protest actions in Seattle, which were planned by broad coalitions and veteran activists, the demonstrations in Central Washington were coordinated by students. Maria Cuevas describes the role of veteran organizers – veteranos – in Yakima as more logistical and educational. Students were taught the basics of organizing, the history of the movement they had become a part of, and the necessary facts about the Sensenbrenner bill, but students – not veteranos – did the bulk of the organizing. According to Cuevas, over half of those attending organizing meetings were students. Many students had heard about rallies planned in Los Angeles and these young organizers used the internet to mobilize (in 2006, this was primarily Myspace).[20] Many of their marches were technically not legal, as students did not obtain permits from the city,[21] but this could have also potentially made the walk-outs more powerful, as school districts and businesses had little time for preparation. As a result, many students were punished by their schools,[22] and Maria Cuevas states that the disciplinary action fell disproportionately upon Latino students. She explained that many students who walked out, marched, and rallied were documented, but had undocumented parents.[23] For these students, the Sensenbrenner bill threatened their families, stability, and livelihoods.

Joining students in Yakima, middle and high school students in Monroe, Lynwood, and Mount Vernon walked out on March 31. According to the Seattle Times, most of these students were “Hispanic,” many expressing fears that the proposed law would directly affect their families.[24] In Yakima, a rally and march were organized on April 2 from Miller Park, where attendees were specifically encouraged to register to vote and sign petitions addressed to senators. Nearly 2,000 attended.[25]

Despite widespread protest, the bill was not necessarily unpopular. In fact, according to a CNN poll released April 4, 2006, Americans were more-or-less equally divided on the issue.[26] Among the strongly anti-immigrant groups were the Minutemen. On April 1, a Minutemen organization in Seattle planned to meet at four home-improvement stores known to hire undocumented day laborers, to surveil the workers and post pictures and information about the employers. Pro-immigrant groups (primarily Casa Latina) organized a counter-protest, with a turnout in the hundreds, prompting the Minutemen to cancel.[27]

On April 14, around 80 high school students in the Sunnyside School District walked out of classes. Although 80 is a smaller number, the protest was powerful. The school district sent letters home to parents warning of disciplinary action, and staffers for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell called students early Friday morning urging students to pursue “other methods” of political action.[28] As with all of the protests in the region that spring, April 14 was peaceful. However, police arrested six students for “trespassing.”[29]

Compared to the protests on April 10 and May 1, the student walkouts were all relatively small. Yet, across the nation, the combined effects of these protest actions had already begun to rattle the Republican-controlled (55-45) Senate. On April 5, a few Senate Republicans, led by Bill Frist of Tennessee, proposed new negotiations that would put nearly seven million undocumented immigrants on a path towards citizenship, while requiring the deportation of  approximately one million others. While still punitive, this was hardly the original Sensenbrenner bill. John McCain, an outlier among his Republican counterparts, admitted that the eleven million undocumented immigrants needed to be “brought out from the shadows and protected from exploitation” to “fulfill job requirements necessary for our economic future.”[30]

April 10 - The National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice

Across the country, nearly 660,000 participated in rallies and marches the weekend before April 10. On April 10, nearly 1,400,000 rallied nationwide, marking the largest demonstration yet.[31] Seattle activists joined activists in 101 other cities in the “National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice:”[32] a march commencing at St. Mary’s Church and ending at the Federal Building downtown.[33] Local tribal leaders spoke and expressed their support, while members of the American Indian Movement provided peacekeeper training to the organizers; the protests were almost entirely non-violent.[34]

Nearly half of a million marched in Los Angeles and 300,000 in Chicago.[35] In Seattle, organizers predicted the march would draw around 5,000[36]and were surprised when the event drew anywhere from 25,000-65,000 marchers.[37] The reasons for the massive turnout are worth analyzing. First, the energy of the previous protests proved infectious, encouraging more to come out as the momentum spread, especially as the media began to pay attention. Second, the April 10 event drew people from outside Seattle, notably from Yakima, the Skagit Valley, and Vancouver.[38] According to Rosales, buses were chartered for groups of students in farm towns in the Skagit valley. Third, and perhaps most relevant, the lack of national organizing allowed local organizers to work quickly and take advantage of growing publicity without awaiting direction from a larger national group.[39]

Word of the march spread from person-to-person, from the radio (particularly Spanish-language stations), from student groups, and from churches.[40]Unlike today, the internet was not a crucial element of protest organizing, except among younger student groups, who used Myspace and Facebook.[41] The organization of this march, and all other protests, were through the “social institutions” necessary to the Latino community: the church, the day-laborers’ organizations, unions, and social justice groups.[42]

The Sunday march began with a prayer and blessing by the Reverend Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle and a Mexican immigrant, marking once more the political commitment of the Catholic Church. When the march reached the Federal Building, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and King County Executive Ron Simms spoke. Across the nation, protesters were encouraged to wear white, a classic symbol of peace.[43] While many displayed flags of their home countries, American flags were ubiquitous. 


Founded in 1969, MEChA –  Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán – is a nationwide Chicanx student organization with over 500 chapters nationwide and 14 in Washington State.[44] On April 5, UW MEChA organized an on-campus protest march, intended to educate students and generate more energy for the march on April 10. While groups like Casa Latina were central to organizing workers, MEChA was integral in organizing and educating students. Oscar Rosales described the importance of educating young people about immigrant rights in the Pacific Northwest, and how the issues faced closer to the US-Mexico border were not disconnected from the experiences faced by immigrants in Washington. Besides the protests, MEChA held informational meetings and film screenings to educate students of the economic, political, and cultural background prefacing HB 4437.[45]

Although MEChA is a national organization, local chapters are autonomous. MEChA chapters at large institutions with a wealth of resources informally tend to be organizational leaders of regions. In 2006, UW, WWU, and Evergreen State College chapters worked with smaller chapters in Western Washington. WSU, Columbia Basin College, and Eastern organized with the Eastern side of the state, while Yakima Valley Community College and Central Washington University coordinated the central region. In practice, this meant the UW aided chapters at schools such as Seattle University where resources were limited. MEChA de UW also helped high school students create new MEChA chapters and organize high school students. The mobilization of high school students was particularly important to the movement; MEChA chapters would encourage high school students and their families to walk out in protest; the protests became family events.[46]

May 1: Strike, Boycott, Walkout, and March.

In Seattle, the turnout and publicity of the April 10 march created momentum for the May 1 demonstration, which would culminate the highly effective Spring mobilizations. After April 10, mainstream English-language media started regularly covering the protests and promoting future demonstrations, leading up to May 1. The May 1 protest was a strike and boycott accompanied by a march. Immigrants and allies were encouraged to stay home from work and school, and to avoid purchasing anything. The boycott was intended to show the economic impact of immigrants in American society. Protesters across the country were clad in white, except for those in Seattle. Protesters in Seattle wore black to call attention to the danger of crossing the militarized border.[47] American flags could be seen everywhere. The march, along with most other previous marches, was a family event; high schoolers were joined by parents, babies in strollers, and elderly relatives. It followed the same route as the April 10 march,[48] and began with a speech by the Seattle Catholic Archbishop Alex Brunett.[49]

According to Rosales, students from UW led by MEChA filled four metro buses headed  to Judkins Park.[50] Protesters also bussed in from Auburn, Tacoma, and Burien, according to Carlos Marentes.[51] Estimates for attendance at the Seattle march ranged from 45,000-65,000.[52] Meanwhile, the boycotts successfully disrupted business-as-usual in Seattle, across the state, and across the country. Traffic in many parts of Seattle was completely stopped.[53] The port, trucking, agricultural, and garment making industries were all disrupted for several days.[54] Upwards of four hundred longshore workers of Seattle’s ILWU local 19 stopped work, and 25,000+ ILWU members shut down ports  along the West Coast.[55] Tyson meatpacking plants were shut down entirely, including one in Pasco.[56] Eight Perdue Farms chicken plants were shut down. The nation’s largest “Hispanic food” supplier – Goya foods – shut down operations entirely in solidarity.[57] High school students across the Yakima Valley walked out of school. It was reported that only “half of the Sunnyside School District's nearly 6,000 students showed up” in the West Valley of Yakima, Washington. In the Yakima School District, at least 30% of students were absent. At Yakima Valley Community College, it was reported that nearly half of all students did not attend classes.[58] Around 7,000-8,000 attended the march accompanying the walkout, which, according to Cuevas, was the largest protest recorded in Yakima’s history.[59] This was extraordinary, considering that Yakima was a mostly conservative town of  about 80,000. Admittedly, the local turnout  was bolstered by WSU and Central Washington Students organized by MEChA, who bussed in for the march.[60]

Josue Estrada, a graduate student at WSU in Pullman at the time, noted the importance of these protests in more rural and suburban areas, such as Yakima, as many of these areas are more conservative with less dense populations. Although this essay takes a close look Yakima, there were protests in other rural towns across the state. Newspapers and books pay close attention to the larger protests in Los Angeles and Chicago, but it is perhaps more important to recognize the hundreds of less publicized protests, walkouts, and marches that occurred in small towns, which often had no history of protest action.

It is significant that the movement took the form of street protests, as opposed to more sanctioned forms of political participation. Social movement theorists have hypothesized that street protests indicate a failure of the traditional political system.[61] Perhaps, the inability for any of the nation’s 12 million undocumented immigrants to access the traditional political system could have been seen as a sign of institutional failure. However, there was surprisingly little indication that protesters were unhappy with the American system as a whole: American flags were waved proudly, protesters held signs that said “VOTE,”[62] elected officials were welcomed to speak at marches, marchers chanted “today we march, tomorrow we vote!”[63] Why was this?

The concept of “discursive opportunity structures” might be useful in understanding why this occurred. Discursive opportunities refer to the ideas and collective identities that might become more politically useful and popular than others.[64] In 2006, and throughout history, notions of American identity – “Americanism” – have been weaponized against immigrants; consistently immigrants are/were accused of being hostile, unassimilable, anti-American invaders undermining the American economy and cultural identity. To counter these threats, Voss and Bloemraad argue, American identity and values were adopted, upheld, and re-imagined by immigrants; immigrant protesters chose not to show their dissatisfaction with the American system (regardless of whether or not that sentiment may have existed), but instead show the fallacy of labeling immigrants as hostile freeloaders threatening the American way of life. While HR 4437 intended to exclude, the marches intentionally expressed a powerful desire for inclusion.[65]

Thus, nationwide and in Washington, protests centered American values, mainly family and hard work. These familiar values were instrumentalized over more “obscure” values such as human rights or global economic justice,[66] which might have been a less popular strategy with the overall American public. A significant exception occurred in Seattle on May 1st. While the rest of the country continued to wear a conciliatory white, protesters wore black to signify the dangers of crossing a militarized border. This potentially more radical appeal to human rights could reflect the history of previous social movements in Washington state. Many of the organizers of the 2006 protests were veteran organizers from immigrant rights movements in the past, such as the Chicano Movement in the 60s and the Central American Solidarity Movement and the Sanctuary Movement in the 70s and 80s.

Moving Forward

Appealing to American values complemented a major goal of the movement: legislation creating a path to citizenship. While blocking HR 4437 was the immediate goal, a path to citizenship for the nearly 12 million undocumented immigrants was a larger demand among the movement. The movement was only partially successful: the Senate never passed HR 4437. Instead, on May 25, 2006, the Senate passed the bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which included a border wall, increased surveillance, and a path to citizenship for some. However, the bill was never taken up by the House of Representatives.[67] 

The movement also had trouble moving forward. Organizers and coalition members were divided by tactics and goals. Many wanted to solely pursue electing more Democrat representatives, while others preferred to focus on more local-level actions and initiatives that would directly affect workers’ and immigrants’ rights. Carlos Marentes, the lead organizer of El Comité  at the time, argued that many coalition members were primarily focused on mobilizing an expanding Latino population to vote for Democrats. Marentes states that that was a primary goal of many labor unions, which worked closely with the Democratic party at the time.[68] It is important to note that before 2006 only some unions allied with undocumented workers. In August of 2006, the AFL-CIO agreed to work with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network for the first time.[69]

 Regardless, the pursuit of electoral goals was ultimately very successful; unions and pro-immigrant social justice groups were instrumental in the 2006 midterms and the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.[70] However, arguably, not much progress has been made by electing Democrats, besides the establishment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (2012) and the continuation of Temporary Protective Status programs, Democrats were lukewarm in the Obama years about pursuing immigrant-friendly, path-to-citizenship legislation.  Congress passed no progressive immigration measures in the years since 2006.

Additionally, elected Democrats have overwhelmingly supported the work of ICE and ICE carried out 5,281,115 deportations under the Obama administration.[71] Following the 2006 protests, ICE raids and deportations increased significantly. ICE began to increasingly target workplaces known to hire immigrants, such as meatpacking plants and farms. For the first time, officials began to charge undocumented immigrants with felonies by utilizing forgery and identity theft laws.[72] Public opinion had also begun to turn against the protesters: in January 2006, a Time magazine poll reported 74% of Americans supported more restrictive policies; in March the number had shifted to 82%.[73] Although HR 4437 never passed, the  goal of terrorizing and criminalizing undocumented immigrants has been achieved.

The movement of the spring of 2006 mobilized rapidly in reaction to a draconian bill. However, the pushback from federal border enforcement, growing public support for greater border enforcement, and a lack of unified pro-immigrant organizing caused the protest movement to demobilize as quickly as it had mobilized. As of 2019, thirteen years later, it is difficult to argue much progress has been made. Donald Trump rode a wave of anti-immigrant nativism to the White House. ICE is holding children in cages.[74] Refugees are being tear-gassed at the border.[75] The ICE and CBP budget has nearly doubled from $3.9 billion to $7.6 billion (2018).[76]

Many have described the seemingly-spontaneous organizing of immigrants in 2006 as a “coming out of the shadows.” According to Rosales, this is a misrepresentation. Immigrants have been radically organizing in Washington state for many decades. 2006 did not serve to “bring people out of the shadows,” but rather, brought immigrant organizers from multiple movements and multiple generations together. He describes this as a “rejuvenation of the Latinx left in the city of Seattle.” Thirteen years later, in a period of unrestrained and institutionalized nativism, it is likely we will witness another “rejuvenation” very soon.

© Copyright Katherine Cavanaugh 2019
HSTAA 388 Fall 2018

[1] Xóchitl Bada, Jonathan Fox, and Andre Selee, eds., Invisible No More: Mexican Migrant Civic Participation in the United States (Washington, D.C.: Wilson Center, 2011).

[2] Kim Voss and Irene Bloemraad, Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2011), 8; “Immigrant Justice Rising: A Chronology of Immigrant-Led Mobilizations, Spring 2006”, Left Turn: Notes from the Global Intifada, last revised 2006,

[4] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America, 22.

[5] For a national-level analysis, see Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for Immigrant Rights: The Fight for Inclusion in 21st Century America; for an example of an analysis on a local-level, see

Nilda Flores-González and Amalia Pallares, eds., ¡Marcha!: Latino Chicago and the immigrant rights movement, (Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2010).

[6] “H.R.4437 - Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005”,, last revised 2006,

[7] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 15.

[8] Xóchitl Bada, Jonathan Fox, and Andre Selee, eds., Invisible No More: Mexican Migrant Civic Participation in the United States.

[9] Leo R. Chavez, Shadowed lives: Undocumented immigrants in American society, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2012), 218.

[10] Christine Senteno, "15 Day Laborers Complete Coast-to-Coast Relay Run to Promote Peace and Dignity," Hispanic Link Weekly Report (Washington, DC), May 8, 2006, 2, NewsBank.

[11] Cara Solomon,“Day laborers seek change in law”, The Seattle Times, March 5, 2006, Box 6, Folder 9, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[12] Richard Ortega, “Respeto a nuestros derechos,” (Unidentified publication), March 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[13] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, email to author, December 21, 2018.

[14] Xóchitl Bada, Jonathan Fox, and Andre Selee, eds., Invisible No More: Mexican Migrant Civic Participation in the United States.

[15] “Trabajadores Celebran la Carerra Jornalera por la Paz y Dignidad,” Sea Latino: Locales, March 10, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA;

Lornet Turnbull, “Alliance Fears Possible Changes,” The Seattle Times, March 17, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA;

“Marcha por la Dignidad y Justicia Social,” (Unidentified publication), March 22, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA;

“Presionan al Congreso: Marchas por la Dignidad y Justicia Social,” Siete Días, March 22, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[16] Eugene Robinson, "Illegal immigrants are human beings," The NY Buffalo News, March 29, 2006: A7. NewsBank.

[17] Xóchitl Bada, Jonathan Fox, and Andre Selee, eds., Invisible No More: Mexican Migrant Civic Participation in the United States.

[18] James Joyce, "Students join protest,", Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), March 28, 2006, NewsBank.

[19] Leah Ward, "What immigrants want," Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), April 7, 2006, NewsBank.

[20] Leah Ward, "What immigrants want.”

[21] James Joyce, "Students join protest.”

[22] Sarah Jenkins, Bill Lee, and Michael Shepard, "Students take a living lesson in U.S. civics," Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), March 29, 2006. NewsBank.

[23] Maria Cuevas, phone interview by author, March 1, 2019.

[24] Lynn Thompson, “Immigration Bill Prompts Walkout in Monroe,” The Seattle Times, April 1, 2006, Box 6, Folder 13, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[25] Ed Stover, "Marchers appeal for fairness," Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), April 3, 2006, NewsBank.

[26] “Poll: High stakes in immigration debate”, CNN, last revised April 4, 2006,

[27] Jonathan Martin, “Hundreds back day laborers,” The Seattle Times, April 2, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA;Rachel Davis, “Standing up: Seattle rallies against border vigilantes,” Real Change, April 11, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[28] James Joyce, "Students stay away from school," Yakima Herald-Republic (WA), May 2, 2006, NewsBank.

[29] James Joyce, "Students stay away from school."

[30] Rachel L Swarns, “Senate Republicans Strike Immigration Deal”, The Seattle Times, April 5, 2006, Box 6, Folder 13, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[31] Xóchitl Bada, Jonathan Fox, and Andre Selee, eds., Invisible No More: Mexican Migrant Civic Participation in the United States.

[32] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview by author, Seattle, WA, November 8, 2018.

[33] Gonzalo Guzman, “Some 15,000 Latinos and others march in Seattle to protest House Bill 4437 on April 10, 2006,” Democratic Underground, last revised September 17, 2006.

[34] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview; Nelida Mendoza, “Marcha histórica en contra de propuesta de ley migratoria”, (Unidentified publication), April 12, 2006, Box 6, Folder 23, Casa Latina Records, University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, WA.

[35] Paul Rogat Loeb, “Out of the Shadows: The Seattle Immigration March,” Democratic Underground, last modified April 15, 2006,

[36] Mendoza, “Marcha histórica en contra de propuesta de ley migratoria.”

[37] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview.; Mendoza, “Marcha histórica en contra de propuesta de ley migratoria.”

[38] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview.

[39] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 24.

[40] Loeb, “Out of the Shadows: The Seattle Immigration March.”

[41] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview.

[42] Paul Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States, (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2018), 174.

[43] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview.; Chavez, Shadowed lives: Undocumented immigrants in American society,218.

[44] Josue Estrada, “MEChA and Chicano Student Organizations 1967-2012,” Mapping American Social Movements, accessed March 1, 2019,

[45] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview

[46] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview; Josue Estrada, interview by author, Seattle, WA, January 22, 2019.

[47] Oscar Rosales Castañeda, “Chicano/a Movement in Washington.” The Seattle Civil Rights and Labor HistoryProject, accessed November 15, 2018,

[48]  Oscar Rosales Castañeda, interview.

[49] John Iwasaki, "PROTESTERS UNITE IN PEACE ON MAY DAY,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 2, 2008, NewsBank.

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[51]  Carlos Marentes, interview by author, Seattle, WA, January 24, 2019.

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[53] Brad Wong, “Thousands march for immigration rights,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 30, 2006,

[54] Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States173.


[56] Wong, “Thousands march for immigration rights.”

[57] Gillan Flaccus, "Many businesses, schools feel the effects of boycott," The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), May 2, 2006, NewsBank..

[58] James Joyce, “Students stay away from school.”

[59] Maria Cuevas, phone interview.

[60] Josue Estrada, interview.

[61] Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, Poor people's movements: Why they succeed, how they fail, (New York, NY: Vintage, 1977).

[62] Wong, “Thousands march for immigration rights.”

[63] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 37.

[64] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 32.

[65] Chavez, Shadowed lives: Undocumented immigrants in American society, 218.

[66] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 31.

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[68]  Carlos Marentes, interview.

[69] Steven Greenhouse, “Labor Federation Forms a Pact With Day Workers,” The New York Times, August 10, 2006,

[70] Ortiz, An African American and Latinx History of the United States175.

[71] Muzaffar Chishti, Sarah Pierce, and Jessica Bolter, “The Obama Record on Deportations: Deporter in Chief or Not?,” Migration Policy Institute, January 26, 2017, accessed November 26, 2018,

[72] Voss and Bloemraad, Rallying for immigrant rights: The fight for inclusion in 21st century America, 35.

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[74] Nomaad Merchant, “Immigrant Children seen Held in Fenced Cages at Border Facility,”  Associated Press, July 18, 2018, accessed November 30, 2018,

[75] Megan Specia and Rick Gladstone, “Border Agents Shot Tear Gas into Mexico. Was It Legal?,” The New York Times, November 20, 2018, accessed November 30, 2018.

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