U.S. citizens urged to 'shop till you drop'

Hoosiers concerned about illegal immigration are encouraging like-minded citizens to "shop till you drop" Monday as a counter to the national "Day Without Immigrants" protest.

"We want the business people to know there are a lot of people like us, who are very worried about the negative impact of illegal immigration and who spend money at their business," said Greg Serbon, Crown Point, state director of the Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement.

Organizers nationwide are calling on immigrants to skip work and school, buy nothing and sell nothing Monday, although key local leaders are urging them to show up for jobs and classes.

Serbon and about 25 others upset at what they see as the government's lack of action on illegal immigration took their concerns to the streets Friday with a protest in Downtown Indianapolis during the lunch hour. They were scheduled to return today.
The goal of the protest was to get the attention of Sens. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who Serbon said are failing their constituents by not taking a hard stand on closing the border with Mexico and enforcing immigration laws.
Protesters who gathered near the corner of Illinois and Market streets held signs with slogans including "Honk to stop illegal immigration" and "Close our borders now."

"We've got a lot of positive responses," Serbon said. "We've had a few people who don't like what we have to say, but that's to be expected."

Natisha Cooper, 41, Indianapolis, co-chairwoman of the Marion County chapter of the group, said it is getting harder to express negative opinions about illegal immigration.

"Many people are afraid to speak up because they will be labeled as racist," she said.

Serbon said the protesters are not racists or opposed to immigration. They want newcomers to obey the laws and, if they don't, they want the government to enforce the laws.

Participants came from FortWayne, South Bend, Seymour, Valparaiso, Michigan City and Columbus, in addition to Indianapolis.

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