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Thousands expected to boycott

Thousands of people across the country are expected to skip school and work today to express their outrage over immigration reform proposals that criminalize illegal immigrants. Analysts say regardless of how many people participate, the protest will push the immigration debate forward. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Today's protest has opened deep divides among immigrants' rights activists. Some says skip school and work and don't buy anything to show how dependent the U-S economy is on illegal immigrants. Others say that's too disruptive and are pushing evening rallies. Yet another group worries low participation could deflate the power gained by massive marches held weeks ago.

But according to the director of Chicano Studies at UCSD mush of the concern is for naught. Jorge Mariscal says regardless of the infighting and today's turnout, the boycott has already had an enormous positive effect.

Mariscal: "First thing that it has done is energized the entire community and raised the level of political consciousness. Whether it has an economic impact of not doesn't really matter. I think the point has already been made that these folks, documented or undocumented, make major contributions to the national economy."

Mariscal says this Latino labor movement is not yet a full fledged civil rights movement. But he expects it will turn into one soon. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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