Maria Espinoza didn't hesitate when asked if she would hit the streets this weekend with her banners bearing the names of Americans who had their lives snuffed out by killers who weren't even supposed to be in the country.
As a first-generation American whose father legally emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in the 1950s, she takes it personally whenever a fellow citizen is murdered or killed by an illegal immigrant. Most often, she says, they're killed by a drunken driver or run over in a reckless act of vehicular homicide, but others have been gunned down by gang members.
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"We travel everywhere and try to meet with the families and try to educate them as to what is taking place because you're not going to hear this from the media," Espinoza told WND. "How many times do we hear 'another American was killed today by an illegal alien?' We don't."
That's why she formed The Remembrance Project in 2009, and now she has agreed to join up with Americans for Legal Immigration PAC and Overpasses for America in nationwide protests against illegal immigration set for Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24-25.
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34 million green cards for illegals?
If protesters needed a last-minute incentive, they got it Tuesday with the news that President Obama has issued a solicitation for vendors capable of printing up to 34 million blank green cards, ostensibly to fulfill his promise of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, the nation's largest organization lobbying for lower levels of immigration, said it's hard to know exactly what the Obama administration is up to with its massive printing order, but it doesn't sound good.
"You almost have to laugh about it because it is so frightening. Is there no end to what this administration will try to do to the working people of this country?" he asked. "I can't believe their intent is to drive down the wages and drive up unemployment. I can't believe that, but obviously there's something that's more important to them than a person making a living wage. And what that something is, well, it's open to interpretation right now."
Beck said the number 34 million is very significant.
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"It's interesting because when we went through the big Senate Bill 744 last year, we went through that thing and calculated that they would be giving out 34 million green cards over the next 10 years, if that bill had become law," Beck said. "So it's interesting to me that it's almost exactly the same number we're hearing now."
Beck said it appears Obama is gearing up for a big amnesty plan, rather than a small one, and he is most likely to deliver the goods through executive orders.
"There were different estimates (during last year's Senate debate). But all the estimates ran from a low of 27 or 28 million, up to 35 million over 10 years," Beck said.
He said the U.S. has been allowing legal immigration of 10 to 11 million immigrants per decade, "and our organization is working desperately to cut that in half."
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Up until the 1980s, the U.S. brought in an average of about 3 million new immigrants per decade, he said.
"And now they want to give out more than 30 million green cards over the next decade," he said. "People like to use the term 'war on' this and 'war on' that. You talk about a war on the American wage earner? This is it."
He said it's important to remember that a green card is a lifetime permit. "So every one of these cards is someone you're bringing in to compete with someone who is of working age and doesn't have a job."
Espinoza said a strong message needs to be sent to Washington ahead of the Nov. 4 mid-term elections. And this weekend's rallies can do that.
"I'm frustrated. I'm saddened. That is just unbelievable, just outrageous," she said of Obama's solicitation of contractors to print a minimum of 4 million worker ID cards for illegals per year. "And here on the heels of our families who've been victims of horrible tragedy and we're getting ready to memorialize those who have been burned by these policies."
The National Day of Remembrance is held on Nov. 2, just two days before Election Day, when Espinoza hopes an even stronger message will be sent to Washington's establishment through the ballot box. Espinoza has requested that Obama acknowledge the significance of Nov. 2 and meet with one of the thousands of families who have mourned the loss of a loved one at the hand of an illegal alien.
"We have been requesting to meet with him for over a year now, and he has consistently ignored our request," she said. "So we are joining with Overpasses for America and ALIPAC to get the message out. We will be out in the community with our Stolen Lives Quilt banners."
Each quilt bears the names of 25 Americans killed by an illegal alien, she said.
She said it's impossible to know how many Americans have been killed through crimes committed by illegal immigrants because the government doesn't keep statistics and the media often don't report the immigration status of killers.
But it was the few media reports she did see that led her to start The Remembrance Project in 2009 and launch the website, TheRemembranceProject.org. On that site, the stories of lives lost are told.
"I started researching about these killings and found out many of these people who, let's say it was vehicular homicide, they were illegally in the country, fled the scene and fled the country," Espinoza said. "Or you have a dr[unken] driving case, and in our research we would find the driver who killed an American had prior convictions. He should have been detained and deported. He was not. He was released back into our community, and he killed an American.
"I was just not understanding why people were not standing up for laws being enforced," she said. "The media would, in most cases, hide the fact that this person was here illegally."
Espinoza says truth takes a back seat to political correctness among today's major media companies and personalities.
"I think a lot of it has to do with political correctness and a certain agenda," she said. "It seems like the truth has been lost to political correctness, and it's killing our families."
Jamiel Shaw Sr. of Los Angeles learned about this firsthand.
His 17-year-old son, a star football player being recruited by Stanford University, was shot and killed in 2008 by an illegal-alien gang member from Mexico with a history of violence. The gang member was given an early release from jail and the very next day murdered Shaw's son, Jamiel Shaw Jr., three doors down from their home, while his mother was serving in Iraq.
"Jamiel Shaw is very active. He hosts a radio show and knows a lot of celebrities, but when [the celebrities] found out his son was shot by an illegal alien, he never heard from them again," Espinoza said.
Watch Jamiel Shaw's emotional testimony before Congress below:
She said every state has a resident who has been killed by an illegal alien.
"We use a quilt, and we call it the Stolen Lives Quilt, because that life was stolen from a family, from our country, and would still be here today if our elected officials were doing their job to serve the citizens," she said. "We started the Remembrance Project in 2009, and I have to tell you we had no idea what we were doing. It was just trial by error."
Now she has a volunteer director in more than half the states.
William Gheen, president of ALIPAC, said Espinoza will be a huge asset to the coalition that is working to bring more awareness about the costs of illegal immigration ahead of the Nov. 4 elections.
"Maria brings very important issues to the rallies, which is all the Americans that have been killed by illegal aliens," said Gheen. "She's traveling all around the country right now with the Remembrance Project."
Ebola on their minds
Gheen said the other dominant issue in the news lately, the Ebola outbreak, also ties into immigration.
"The two issues we think are really going to drive people to the polls, at this point, are immigration and the Ebola mishandling, and some of our protesters are going to be wearing medical masks, suits and signs about Ebola," he said. "Because you can't stop Ebola without stopping illegal immigration, and you can't stop illegal immigration unless you stop immigration reform/amnesty. And we're going to be warning people that Obama is making plans to grant amnesty to up to 34 million illegals."
Gheen is hoping to energize the conservative base this weekend not only to bring awareness to what he believes is the most important issue of the day, but to get more people to vote in the midterms and help candidates who are trying to upset the status quo being upheld by the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.
"It's not enough to just vote, and it's not enough to just hold a flag on an overpass," he said. "We need tens of thousands of people connecting with the insurgent campaigns. Our main goal is to channel a volunteer army behind the insurgent campaigns and create a Democrat apocalypse on Nov. 4.
"Unfortunately we have to recognize there are many Republicans on the ballot that stink, but we're asking people to look for true conservatives for everything from dog catcher up to Congress, and we have an endorsement list now at ALIPAC.US to help them do that."
Gheen said the "stars are aligned" for a conservative sweep of Congress in the midterms, and that's what it will take to stop Obama from declaring amnesty for up to 34 million illegals, which is more than 10 percent of the current population of the United States.
"The only thing that will stop him is a historic and unprecedented Democrat apocalypse on Nov. 4. And that can happen," he said. "The stars are aligned for that, but it's going to take a groundswell, grassroots movement so we need everyone out to the protests this weekend, out behind the campaigns, out to the polls."
As of this report, 206 cities and towns across the U.S. had signed up to participate in the protest rallies.
For Beck, the fight is about saving jobs for Americans.
For Espinoza, it's about saving lives.
And this year, she decided it was time to start getting involved with other groups, such as the rallies organized by ALIPAC and Overpasses for America.
"We're getting involved in these protests, especially now that Mr. Obama is putting out that he's going to give authorization to up to 34 million illegals. We're going to show people the banners of what people go through, our families, when the laws are not upheld and enforced," Espinoza said "We'll just be supporting our families and let them know their fellow Americans want to help and prevent other killings."
Among the other groups participating with ALIPAC, Numbers USA and Remembrance Project in this weekend's protests will be Family Security Matters, Californians for Population Stabilization, Tea Party Community, Two Million Bikers to D.C., Americans Have Had Enough Coalition, Oath Keepers, America Working, Riders USA, NY ICE, Floridians for Immigration Enforcement and the Florida Tea Party.