Thousands of Immigrants Rallied in Texas

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From the suburbs of North Texas to the US-Mexico border, demonstrators marched and many businesses closed to back a nationwide boycott in support of immigrant rights.

The demonstrations aimed to show the nation's reliance on the work and spending power of its illegal immigrants.

-- In Houston, between 15-thousand and 30-thousand people converged on Memorial Park for the nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" protest. They waved American and Mexican flags, and many said their employers had given them the day off.

After the Houston rally, demonstrators marched three miles to
the offices of US Sen. John Cornyn. The Texas Republican doesn't
support a proposed compromise to allow future workers to seek legal
residence after a period of work.

However, Cornyn has said he opposes amnesty and has proposed a bill to give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country. It would let immigrants return after being granted visas for legal residency or temporary worker status.

-- Demonstrators are picketed Cornyn's Dallas office and marched
on his San Antonio office.

-- Thousands of marchers also demonstrated at City Hall and Kiest Park in Dallas.

-- In El Paso, about two-thousand people marched from the Chamizal National Monument to a nearby international bridge to Cuidad Juarez, Mexico.

-- At a rally at the state Capitol in Austin, more than a thousand people carried signs and flags from the US and Latin American countries.

-- From his office in the nation's capital, San Antonio Congressman Charlie Gonzalez said the nationwide boycott of US businesses and schools will do more harm than good. The Democrat says attending school and working are opportunities immigrants want.

-- In the predominantly Hispanic Oak Cliff area of Dallas, more than half of the stores had signs in Spanish telling customers they were closed and gave messages of support for immigrants.

-- The Malone's Cost-Plus supermarket chain closed its nine Dallas stores and more than 800 restaurants owned by Malone's Food Stores Limited as a gesture of support. About 95 percent of its work force and 90 percent of its customers are Hispanic.