The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (or HR 4437) was passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 16th, 2005. Among other things, it requires the building of a 700 miles (1120 km) of fence along the US-Mexican Border.
Supporters of the bill argue that this already cements current illegal immigration laws and will class as felons anyone aiding or abetting these immigrants. Opponents say that it will infringe on the human rights of asylum seekers and will redefine anyone helping or providing aid to these individuals as felons, including humanitarians, school teachers and church workers. It also would impact many families that have been living in the USA for a number of years, where parents would be deported leaving other family members born in the USA here.
On May 1st, 2006 a number of protests around the country were held. The largest protest was in Los Angeles with an estimated 600,000 people. Chicago had the 2nd largest attendance with 400,000 people. Here in Chicago, the protest marches shut down streets and businesses as it winded through the City and ended in Grant Park, not too far from where we were living.