Immigration Battle

By: Tara Hettinger/ ABC's Miguel Marquez
By: Tara Hettinger/ ABC's Miguel Marquez

On a normal day lunchtime for these roofers in Bakersfield, California is a pretty simple affair: tamales warmed on a kettle that heats tarto 300 degrees. But whose going to be working on Monday? The roofers from Mexico and El Salvador look at one another then one finally speaks up.

"We're going to support our friends by marching so they can't pass 4337," said roofer Roberto Rodriguez.

That's the touch proposal passed by the house last December. It would make it a felony for immigrants to be here illegally. The senate is still debating what to do.

Luis Valenzuela owns his own construction company. He has three projects going, all of them on strict deadlines. He'll be working Monday, but it's unclear how many of his 100 workers will show up.

"I have asked them, put it to them that - whether they want to work or not. And the... you know, some of them say yes, some of them don't really give me response," said Valenzuela.

Over the past several weeks Bakersfield has seen six immigration related events. Monday may be the biggest by far and there is some concern it could shut down the entire town. Other towns share the same concern as more people organize together.

Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers, has been organizing his 27,000 union members. He expects Monday will be huge.

"There's going to be millions upon millions of people participating throughout the United States. And we're constantly hearing stories from workers that, you know, they've already worked out something with their own employers," said Arturo Rodriguez, President UFW.

But other employers expect their employees to be at work the whole time Monday, such as Angie Perez's business in Bakersfield. She says she expects all her employees to work tomorrow, or they better have a good excuse.


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