Rep. Nancy Pelosi cheerfully led Spanish-language chants of “Si se puede” — or “Yes we can” — at a rally Tuesday for amnesty and immigration, but turnout for the event at the National Mall was far below the organizers’ predictions of 100,000 attendees.
The barriers at the event were set to accommodate 35,000 people, but less than half the area was occupied. Loudspeakers and a large display screen at the rear of the area were almost devoid of listeners or viewers.
The rally was held on public land during a widely hyped government shutdown that has seen the Obama administration rigidly shut tourists, property owners and even World War II veterans out of federally controlled areas.
The disappointing turnout, and the poor turnout at a series of Oct. 5 events, will reduce lobbyists’ pressure on the GOP leadership to back a major rewrite of the immigration law, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
Progressives and business leaders, such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are working hand-in-glove to pressure the GOP to pass an immigration rewrite. The Senate rewrite, passed in July, would provide an amnesty for 11 million workers, double legal immigration to 2 million per year, and double the number of resident non-agriculture guest-workers above 1.5 million.