Immigrant Nation

WASHINGTON, May 1

We are not sure why, but about 1/4 of the Googling monkeys did not show up for work overnight, so today's Note is a little short and patchy.

Activists for immigrant rights are calling today's planned demonstrations "A Day Without Immigrants." Proponents of the demonstrations say the nationwide work stoppages and consumer boycotts are aimed at showing the economic power undocumented workers hold. Planned activities are varied but some expect millions to turn out across the country.

In New York City, thousands of workers are expected to take breaks shortly after noon ET to link arms with shoppers, restaurant-goers, and other supporters along city sidewalks. Officials in Los Angeles are bracing for huge crowds: Assistant Police Chief George Gascon said as many as 500,000 people could take part. The demonstrations are also schedule to take place in smaller cities such as Allentown, PA, Omaha, NE, and Knoxville, TN.

Jonathan Weisman and Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post remind readers this day of action refocuses the immigration spotlight back on the Senate work on the topic as well. See our immigration section below for their excellent placeholder on the topic awaiting that a possible Frist/Reid agreement.

In other news, today, Secretary Rice and Secretary Rumsfeld met with the President this morning in the Oval Office to brief him on their recent trip to Iraq. At 10:30 am ET, President and Mrs. Bush make remarks at the "Preserve America" presidential awards ceremony in the Rose Garden. The President's marquee event for the day is scheduled at 1:15 pm ET where he will take the stage at the Washington Hilton Hotel (without his twin expressing his subconscious thoughts) to discuss his health care initiatives.

Senate Democrats plan to bracket the President's remarks on health care with a 3:00 pm ET background briefing on their health care proposals sponsored by Sens. Durbin (D-IL) and Lincoln (D-AR).

The Secretaries of HHS, Labor, and Treasury hold a 3:00 pm ET press conference Medicare and Social Security trustees report. The report details the long-term fiscal outlook of the nation's retirement entitlement program.

The Energy Information Administration releases the most reliable survey of retail gasoline prices at 4:30 pm ET.

Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia luncheon honoring Professor Bernard Lewis in Philadelphia, PA at 12:10 pm ET.

The daylong conference on "Islam and the West" also includes speeches by Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) and others. Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will "lay out a new strategy for how to move forward in Iraq," according to a news release from his office; he was scheduled to speak a 9:15 am ET. Sen. Biden co-authors a New York Times op-ed today with former Council on Foreign Relations President Leslie Gelb describing the path forward in Iraq is to create three (Kurd, Sunni, Shiite) autonomous regions with a decentralized central government as well as a near-total American troop withdrawal/redeployment from Iraq by the end of 2008. LINK

Sen. Biden also keynotes at the Galivants Ferry Stump in Galivants Ferry, SC. Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) makes his first trip of the cycle to Iowa today. The former mayor attends a fundraiser for Rep Jim Nussle (R-IA) in Davenport, IA and an Iowa GOP event in Des Moines, IA.

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