State senators on Thursday endorsed Monday’s boycott of schools, jobs and stores by illegal immigrants and their allies. By a 24-13 vote that split along party lines, the Senate approved a resolution that calls the one-day protest the Great American Boycott 2006 and describes it as an attempt to educate Americans “about the tremendous contribution immigrants make on a daily basis to our society and economy.” Among local lawmakers, senators Martha Escutia, D-Norwalk, Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, and Jack Scott, D-Pasadena, voted in support of the resolution. Sen. Bob Margett, R-Glendora, voted against it. “It’s one day … for immigrants to tell the country peacefully, `We matter … \ not invisible,”‘ said Romero, the resolution’s chief author. Some senators equated the protest with the civil rights movement of the 1960s and other major events in American history. Escutia described how her grandfather remained in the country illegally after overstaying a work permit during the 1940s, when he picked fruits and vegetables while American men were fighting World War II. “This happened 60 years ago,” she said, choking up as she described her 11-year-old son asking her about the controversy. “And you know what? The story still continues.” She said the “Great American Boycott” should be renamed “the great American secret, and that is we all rely on someone who is here illegally.” Local state Assembly members also were split on the boycott, depending on their party affiliations. Assemblyman Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, said he would have voted against such a resolution had it been presented in the Assembly. “This whole thing is a thinly veiled way to blur this distinction between illegal immigration and legal immigration,” Huff said. “Nobody’s questioning the value of legal immigration to our society, but this boycott was designed to hit businesses in the pocketbook and consumers in the convenience category.” Assemblywoman Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park, said she planned to participate in the boycott Monday. She said she would have voted for the resolution. Chu added that she will not accept her per diem allowance Monday. “Its intent is to talk about the contributions of immigrants in California,” Chu said. “It’s important to do this in the face of the proposal in Congress which seeks to criminalize immigrants.” California’s top education official appeared with school officials in several cities Thursday to urge students to stay in school on Monday. “If students need to protest, they should feel free to do so after school,” said state Superintendent for Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. Rallies are planned for Monday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Gardena, Bell, Santa Ana, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Concord and other cities. Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, introduced a bill that would require a special school attendance audit on Monday, so that schools would not receive state aid for any student who was truant. School funding is based on attendance levels. O’Connell said the state would not grant waivers to schools that lose funding if students were absent while out protesting. Staff Writer Mike Sprague contributed to this Associated Press story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventShe said immigrants make up one-third of California’s labor force and one-quarter of its residents. Margett said the boycott is wrong. “Peaceful demonstrations are wonderful, but to have somebody else pay for it, like taxpayers or businesses … is patently unfair,” Margett said. The boycott, also called “A Day Without Immigrants,” grew out of huge pro-immigrant marches across the United States in recent weeks. Organizers are urging people to stay home from school and jobs and avoid spending money on Monday to demonstrate the importance of immigrant labor to the U.S. economy.