Updated: 6:45 a.m. ET April 10, 2006
LOS ANGELES - The protests that drew national attention to the future of an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are relaunching, even though sweeping reform legislation has stalled on Capitol Hill.
Weeks ago, organizers picked Monday for dozens of demonstrations nationwide, a signal that what began as a string of disparate events Â— attracting tens and even hundreds of thousands of people Â— has become more coordinated.
Â“We donÂ’t have a leader like Martin Luther King or Cesar Chavez, but this is now a national immigrant rights movement,Â” said Joshua Hoyt, director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which has helped organize Chicago-area rallies.
Activists say the SenateÂ’s decision last week not to push a bill that would have given many illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship is neither a cause for celebration nor a lost opportunity Â— itÂ’s a chance to regroup. And thatÂ’s what they plan to do at demonstrations from Florida to Oregon that include school walkouts and marches in major cities.
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