Despite the renewed activism, mestizo leaders said several factors could still prevent immigrants from taking part. Illegal immigrants might be reluctant to appear at public events or fill out documents.
By Pamela Constable
Latinos in Prince William County, angered and panicked by a county resolution to crack down on illegal immigrants, are swiftly banding together against what they see as an assault on their community. They vowed this week to block the resolution through a boycott, a petition drive and possibly a labor strike or lawsuit.
At packed public meetings in three towns this week, organizers signed up volunteers, circulated petitions, set up a hotline for reports of discrimination and announced a campaign of phone calls and e-mails to county officials. They also said they would organize caravans to visit Loudoun County and other communities where Latinos feel targeted.
On Thursday night in Manassas, more than 1,000 Latino residents voted with raised fists and cheers to stage a one-week boycott of all non-immigrant businesses in Prince William at the end of next month. The crowd first met in a church, then grew so large it had to move to a park outside. Latinos in Woodbridge and Dumfries also voted this week to stage the boycott and other actions.