Sunday, January 08, 2006

Day labor center site of immigration battle

Day labor center site of immigration battle

Protesters, supporters square off in war of words
By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer

RANCHO CUCAMONGA - On one side stood the crowd of protesters, mostly middle-aged white folks with neatly combed hair and squeaky clean shoes.

They waived American flags, blared the national anthem from a boom box, and yelled for the men across the street to go home.

"They're taking jobs away from Americans," one of the protesters shouted.

On the other side of Grove Avenue a more motley bunch had gathered.

In front of the Rancho Cucamonga Day Labor Center, the group of mostly Latino men in baseball caps, faded work pants and grimy boots showed no sign of retreat.

They held signs of their own, saying they wanted only to work, and they matched the protesters across the street shout for angry shout.

"This is God's country, it's not their country," one of the men hollered back. "America is the land of opportunity."

Such was the scene on Saturday as protesters gathered in Rancho Cucamonga as part of a broad, national rally against illegal immigration.


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