Arizona passes racist SB1070 to drive Mexicans out of Arizona

Racist SB1070 almost makes being Mexican illegal

It sounds like the law assumes your guilty of being an illegal immigrant unless you can prove your not. Sounds like it violates peoples 5th Amendment rights.

"Under the Constitution's "supremacy clause," the Constitution and federal law trump state law" - that is total rubbish! Most of the time it is exactly the opposite and state laws trump Federal law except in a few cases where the Constitution says the Feds have the right to do something and the states don't.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, the Arizona measure's sponsor, and other supporters counter that the bill is constitutional [State Sen. Russell Pearce also thinks that any government nanny with a gun and a badge has the right to force their will on the rest of us serfs]


Court fight looms on new immigration law

Legislation vulnerable to challenge, says expert; supporters argue it's legally sound

by Dan Nowicki - Apr. 25, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

With Arizona's controversial immigration-enforcement bill now law, the battle will quickly shift from the state Capitol to the courts, where opponents plan to challenge it as an unconstitutional intrusion on federal authority and a violation of civil rights.

Proponents defend the legislation signed Friday by Gov. Jan Brewer as legally sound. But critics say the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that the federal government alone has the responsibility to enact and enforce immigration laws. Some fear other constitutional rights will be trampled through racial profiling and that vital federal money will be diverted from other national priorities.

Under the tough new law, which goes into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends, it will be a state crime for undocumented immigrants to be in Arizona. It is the only state with such a law.

Some provisions of the far-reaching Arizona legislation, opponents predict, will lead to racial profiling and possible violations of the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

Under Arizona's law, local law-enforcement officers will have the authority to ask about immigration status if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that a person is undocumented.

"It's extraordinarily vulnerable to a legal challenge," said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Los Angeles-based Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and an attorney who in the 1990s helped overturn most of the provisions of California's immigration-related Proposition 187.

"I expect multiple lawsuits" in federal and possibly state courts, he said.

The ugly specter of racial profiling, which violates civil rights, has drawn rebukes from Democrats and Republicans alike. On Friday, President Barack Obama said he has directed administration officials to "closely monitor" the civil-rights implications of the Arizona law. Newly appointed interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, a Republican, also expressed civil-rights concerns last week when urging Brewer to veto the bill. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a Democrat, signaled Friday that he intends to pursue a lawsuit. The Justice Department also could try to intervene legally.

Under the Constitution's "supremacy clause," the Constitution and federal law trump state law. Article 1 of the Constitution, which spells out Congress' powers, specifically gives U.S. lawmakers authority to establish a "uniform Rule of Naturalization" and to regulate commerce with other nations. Opponents of individual state action on immigration argue a uniform national immigration policy makes sense and is preferable to a patchwork of different laws in different states.

Timing is not clear, but legal experts speculate that certain immediate challenges to the law - such as the argument that federal authority is supreme on immigration - could result in a judge blocking the law from ever taking effect. Other challenges, such as those claiming racial profiling, may require enforcement of the law first to create a test case.

Law enforcement

In Saenz's view, the Arizona law not only wrongly usurps federal authority on immigration, it also brazenly tries to unilaterally redirect scarce U.S. resources to the state at the expense of other national immigration priorities. Only the federal government can deport illegal immigrants.

"What they expect to happen, obviously, is a whole bunch of people would be picked up by Arizona police and turned over to (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)," Saenz said. "Well, that then forces ICE to divert resources to Arizona when they have made a decision on a national basis to direct limited resources in ways that are consistent with the enforcement priorities set by the federal government, not by any state or local government."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Brewer's predecessor as Arizona governor, on Friday echoed those concerns.

"The Arizona immigration law will likely hinder federal law enforcement from carrying out its priorities of detaining and removing dangerous criminal aliens," she said. "With the strong support of state and local law enforcement, I vetoed several similar pieces of legislation as governor of Arizona because they would have diverted critical law-enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve."

Annie Lai, an Arizona ACLU lawyer, has been studying the law and agreed it contains "a number of constitutional flaws" that could bolster a legal attack.

"This is one of the most extreme and direct attempts by a state to regulate immigration law, and that is prohibited by the supremacy clause of the Constitution," she said. "The immigration-enforcement provisions do not have adequate safeguards that United States citizens, legal residents, Native Americans and other minorities will not be detained and arrested."

State Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, the Arizona measure's sponsor, and other supporters counter that the bill is constitutional and that opponents are misrepresenting the potential for racial profiling and other abuses.

But they are bracing for incoming litigation.

Pearce, the architect of several immigration-related Arizona laws, last week noted that a state law establishing penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal workers faced similar criticism before it went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008, but it has been upheld in U.S. District Court and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court last year asked Obama's solicitor general for a brief explaining the administration's views on the law as a precursor to possibly taking up the case.

"(Since 2004) when we passed Proposition 200 just to stop voter fraud and welfare fraud, I've been sued seven times, won seven times," Pearce said Wednesday in an interview on MSNBC. "Employer sanctions - I've been sued five times, won five times."

Kris Kobach, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law who counseled Pearce when he was writing Senate Bill 1070, said Arizona simply is taking action on what Congress already has deemed illegal, so the state is not infringing on federal authority or running afoul of the supremacy clause.

"The bill basically makes it a penalty under state law to do what is already a crime under federal law," he said. "If the state is concurrently prohibiting the same behavior that the federal government is, then the state is not preempted and is acting consistently with Congress' objectives."

Further, the bill contained language that specifically says state and local law-enforcement officers "may not solely consider race, color or national origin" in implementing the law "except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution."

"There is absolutely nothing in the bill that could be construed as legitimizing racial profiling," Kobach said. "On the contrary, such profiling is prohibited."

Regardless, some are troubled that the law gives police any ability to consider race, color or national origin and say it will lead to illegal racial profiling.

"That is almost inevitably going to be enforced in a racially discriminatory way, because how are the police going to have a 'reasonable suspicion' that you're here illegally?" said Paul Bender, a professor of law at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and a principal deputy U.S. solicitor general from 1993 to 1997 under President Bill Clinton. "They're not going to ask every Anglo that they stop for speeding to show their immigration documents. If they did, we wouldn't have them and we'd all go to jail. They're going to ask the people who look Hispanic. Some of them are not going to have them, and they are going to be arrested."

Federal control

Other legal scholars agree that immigration is in the purview of Congress and that the Arizona Legislature may have overreached this time.

"The harder question is: Are there things that states can do that don't infringe on the federal government's responsibility?" asked Carl Tobias, a professor of law at University of Richmond School of Law in Virginia.

Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer who monitors state and local immigration laws for the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute, said Congress has left Arizona and other states little leeway on immigration. Arizona has cited one opening provided by Congress in a 1986 law - permission for states to take action through "licensing and similar laws" - as the basis for its employer-sanctions law. However, the state may have gone too far in authorizing all local police to enforce immigration laws, he said.

Chishti pointed to the federal 287(g) program, which Congress created, as proof of the federal government's discretion and control over the issue. The program allows partner local agencies such as a sheriff's office to enforce immigration laws. Training is required, which indicates that the federal government doesn't believe that every local police officer is properly prepared for the task.

"If you just follow the logic of the 287(g) agreement," he said, "if Congress thought that states and localities have an inherent authority to do this, which is sort of what Arizona in this case would inevitably be claiming, then there would not be a need for a 287(g) program."

Arizona's new immigration law

• Prohibits state, city or county officials from limiting or restricting "the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law" and allows an Arizona resident to sue an official or agency that adopts or implements a policy that does so. The bill contains a "loser pays" provision meant to deter frivolous lawsuits.

• Requires law enforcement to make a reasonable attempt "when practicable" to determine the immigration status of a person if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. Officers do not have to do so "if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."

• Makes it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant by creating a state charge of "willful failure to complete or carry an alien-registration document."

• Makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or solicit work in Arizona.

• Makes it a crime to pick up a day laborer for work if the vehicle impedes traffic and also makes a day laborer subject to criminal charges if he or she is picked up and the vehicle involved impedes traffic.

• Makes it a crime to conceal, harbor or shield an illegal immigrant if the person knows or recklessly disregards the immigrant's legal status. It does create a legal defense for someone providing emergency, public-safety or public-health services to illegal immigrants.

• Allows law-enforcement officials to arrest a person without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes him or her removable from the U.S.

• Requires employers to keep E-Verify records of employees' eligibility.

• Reiterates Arizona's intent to not comply with the Real ID Act of 2005, including the use of a radio-frequency ID chip.


Arizona governor signs immigration law; foes promise fight

by Alia Beard Rau - Apr. 23, 2010 05:18 PM

The Arizona Republic

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today signed into law an immigration bill that gives the state toughest law in the nation, making it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requiring local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

Brewer said she signed the bill in response to "the crisis the federal government has refused to fix.''

Hispanic leaders addressing the hundreds of protesters at the Capitol immediately vowed to wage a legal fight, and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said he wants the city to sue.

The new immigration law will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce "an alien registration document," such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship such as a passport or Arizona driver's license.

It also makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking up day laborers for work. A day laborer who gets picked up for work, thus impeding traffic, would also be committing a criminal act.

The law goes into effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends, which is expected to be sometime in early May.

Brewer said the new state law mirrors federal law, and that she worked "for weeks' with legislators to strengthen the bill to its current form. She said it does not allow for racial profiling.

"I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona," she said.

To assure that doesn't happen, Brewer also issued an executive order that the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board immediately develop a training program to teach law enforcement how to "appropriately implement Senate Bill 1070."

"This will include what does and does not constitute reasonable suspicion," she said.

Brewer said that while the law protects citizens, it "cannot come at the expense of diversity."

"We must use our new tool wisely," she said. "We must react calmly, enforce it evenly and we must prove the alarmists and cynics wrong."

Brewer said she anticipates the law will face legal challenges over its constitutionality.

"It's probably going to survive, I think, in most areas," she said, adding that legislation could be introduced at some point later to fix "a hiccup here or there."

Brewer said those rallying against the bill are "overreacting."

"I think it's because they are concerned about racial profiling," she said. "Racial profiling is illegal. It will not be tolerated in America and it certainly will not be tolerated in Arizona.

Bill sponsor Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, called this "a good day for America."

"This is a reasonable law," he said.

He said law enforcement will enforce the law properly and he said Brewer's request that AZ POST develop training was a good one.

"I don't think you can have too much training," he said. "Anything to alleviate fears is a good thing."

Pearce also said he does not believe Brewer's signing will result in groups boycotting Arizona. "There are not going to be boycotts," he said. "People love to come to a safe state."

Bill opponent Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, called this "one of the darkest days in Arizona."

"This violates the rights of all Arizonans," she said. "It will be litigated. We will seek an injunction from this law being implemented."

She said her legal concerns about the law are several, including the potential for racial profiling, whether the state has the right to even have such a law in the face of federal authority, and possible violations of due process.

Sinema said her message to the community now is to "stay calm."

"There is no need to flee," she said. "We will be litigating."

Gordon criticized Brewer's action.

"The governor clearly knows that her actions not only have split the state, but will now cause severe economic hardship to all our businesses at a time when we can't afford any losses. The executive order isn't worth the paper it's written on."

Gordon said the executive order to AZ POST would be unenforceable; called it "an attempt to solve this problem with smoke and mirrors."

"Officers throughout the state will be allowed to interpret it on their own since governments can't adopt any policies including interpretations or rules. Therefore her own executive order is in conflict with the statute."

Gordon continued: "I'm extremely disappointed at the governor's actions, that a governor with a caring heart has allowed individuals like Russell Pearce and Joe Arpaio to make her a puppet governor whose strings are controlled by them."

"I've scheduled an item on the agenda for Tuesday to ask the council to direct the city attorney to draft, to prepare a lawsuit asking for an injunction on this law and challenging it on constitutional grounds. It's real important to me that we all must remain peaceful and calm. Calls for economic boycotts by our residents, by our elected officials, are wrong, will hurt everyone, and we must now go to court as occurred in the 1950s and 1960s in the civil rights battles."

Pro-bill protesters at Capitol cheered loudly when Brewer made her announcement, one yelling out "God Bless Jan Brewer.''

Meanwhile, the anti-bill protesters began shouting in unison, "Shame on You! Shame on You!"

A handful of teenage girls was seen openly weeping after it was announced that Brewer had signed the bill.

After the chanting started, pro-bill forces began to sing "America the Beautiful."

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said afterwards that the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican-American Defense Fund have already promised to fight implementation of the law.

"This is only the first step of a long battle, and I don't lose,'" Wilcox said.

She also chastised Brewer, calling her cold-hearted.

"When the president says this is wrong, it's a shame she put herself above him,'' Wilcox said.

Alfredo Gutierrez, a Latino community leader and former state senator, said, "Obviously, this is a very bad thing for the state from our point of view." He predicted acts of civil disobedience and economic consequences for the state as a result.

"This is apartheid for us. This law is influenced by laws of South Africa. It's amazing to me that in 2010, we are dealing with acts of such overt hatred anywhere in this country,'' Gutierrez said.

Those leading the rally urged protesters to follow the lead of legendary civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, who in 1972 led the unionization of farm works in direct opposition to legislation that year.

But at about 2:15 p.m., police began to arrest a handful of protesters who threw water bottles at the police on the south side of the Capitol.

Other protesters urged the small group to stop.

At another site near the Capitol, meanwhile, a large group of protesters started chasing a supporter of the bill, prompting police to come to his rescue

The Arizona Senate and House limited access to the public all morning to keep the crowd away from lawmakers and legislative staff.

Terry Irish of Chandler, who favors the bill, was elated when Brewer announced her decision. He said he did not blame opposing protesters for asserting themselves, however. He said it is a symptom of federal policies of inaction not to close the border.

"This thing wouldn't be happening if they had sealed our borders,'' Irish said.

"They allowed this to happen to make these people slaves to business."


Arizona immigration bill: Protesters react with 'Shame on you'

by Weston Phippen and Brittany Williams - Apr. 23, 2010 04:51 PM

The Arizona Republic

Protesters who had camped out at the Arizona State Capitol for days in hopes of stopping what was billed as the toughest illegal immigration law in the country reacted with boos and chants of "Shame on you" on Friday after the governor announced she was signing the legislation into law.

Authorities made four arrests during the day in what was an overall peaceful protest, said Officer Robert Bailey of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. One juvenile was taken into custody for striking a police officer with a water bottle, Bailey said.

Authorities escorted another man away from the Capitol who was shouting inflammatory statements.

Later, a man was suspected of selling ice cream to the crowd out of a stolen cart, and he was arrested on suspicion of theft, Bailey said. While the arrest was being made, demonstrators swelled in the area and began throwing water bottles at police.

Bailey said one protester was arrested after hitting an officer in this incident, and another was taken in for disorderly conduct after forcing his way through a police barrier that officials had formed.

Protesters remained at the Capitol two hours after the governor signed the bill, with opponents of the measure loudly chanting and beating drums, yelling at a handful of bill supporters who still remained.

Phoenix police quietly escorted many of the measure's proponents to a back area north of the Capitol where they waited to be driven to their cars in an unmarked police van, avoiding the walk through hostile opponents.

Teresa Lopez of Phoenix, a supporter, said, "It's not safe for us to leave here."

"I find it frightening. I come down to my state Capitol and I feel threatened in stating my opinion."

At one point, opponents got into an internal scuffle near 17th Avenue and Adams as factions clashed, reportedly over a police arrest that triggered pushing and shoving. Some protesters were forcefully telling others to keep it peaceful, but tactical police in riot gear armed themselves with dispersal agents to break the crowd up.

Word of Brewer's signing initially seemed to ripple through the crowd of about 2,000 protesters on the Capitol mall.

Someone announced Brewer's decision over a microphone from a stage sponsored by a Spanish-language radio station. The boos and chants soon followed.

After the chanting started, immigration-law supporters began to sing "America the Beautiful."

A group of supporters of the bill cheered loudly when Brewer made her announcement, one yelling out, "God bless Jan Brewer."

Meanwhile, those against the law began shouting in unison, "Shame on you. Shame on you."

A group of teenage girls were openly weeping after word came that Brewer had signed the bill.

Jose Rodriguez, 17, a junior from Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, said, "I am scared because I am brown and I don't have documentation." Rodriguez was part of a volunteer security force, clad in yellow T-shirts, that tried to police the mostly Latino protesters, keeping them from the law's supporters.

Rodriguez said he expected a lot of illegal immigrants to leave the state, but he didn't expect to move. "I'll just keep going on as normal," Rodriquez said. "I don't want to be afraid."

Francisco Rodriguez, 17, a junior at Bostrom High School in Phoenix, said he feared that the law would affect his migrant mother. "I'll be scared for my mom if she gets pulled over by a cop," he said.

Rodriguez said he arrived at the Capitol at 9 a.m. Friday. He also took part in the Thursday protests, ditching school at noon to walk to the Capitol.

His parents didn't come down to the Capitol because they were scared, Rodriguez said. "I didn't want for them to risk it, to come down here. At least it's safe at home."

Rodriguez said his mother came to the United States shortly before he was born. "I think that my mom will be scared to go outside," he said. "She can't go shopping for groceries. She can't get gas."

At about 2:15 p.m., police confronted a handful of protesters who threw water bottles at police on the south side of the Capitol. Other protesters urged the small group to stop.

But only one juvenile was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault during this incident, Officer Robert Bailey said.

Bailey said another man was escorted from the scene of the protest for aggravating others, but he was not arrested.

Bailey estimated the crowd at 2,000. He could not release how many officers from DPS, Phoenix fire and the Arizona Capitol Police were deployed.

"The act of violence started when they signed that bill," said Mario Escobar, a 32-year-old graduate student at Arizona State University. "By signing that bill, Arizona officially became a fascist state."

Many of the student protesters began a march around the Capitol mall about 30 minutes after Brewer's announcement.

Local television stations interrupted programming to carry the announcement live. Brewer's signing was carried by national cable news channels.

Brewer's announcement came not at the Capitol, but at a hard-to-find human resource center used by the state Department of Transportation, about 2 miles northeast of the state's executive office and near a major freeway interchange. There were no protesters there.

Senate Bill 1070 makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally. It requires local law enforcement to determine an individual's immigration status if an officer suspects that person is in the country illegally.

Earlier Friday, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon spoke to throngs of activists and encouraged them to keep the protest peaceful, noting that the Arizona immigration bill will be defeated, one way or another.

"This is clearly unconstitutional," Gordon said as he stood in front of more than an estimated 1,000 chanting and cheering protesters. "This will get overturned, this will clearly get overturned."

Gordon told the crowd to remain unified and not to give up hope. Gordon also told them not to follow through with some of the economic boycotts the protesters were planning. He finished his speech with, "In the words of Cesar Chavez: 'Si se puede." The crowd continued to chant the words.

About 40 supporters of the bill were sequestered on the Capitol grounds by a cadre of yellow-shirted security guards who linked arms around them for protection.

The two opposing crowds jeered and yelled at one another. Yellow caution tape and barricades cut through the lines and the protesters circled around them. Police, Department of Public Safety and sheriff's officers kept watch at the protest. They peered down with binoculars from the tops of the Senate and House of Representatives buildings, scanning the crowd.

Judy Hoelscher, a self-described "angry, right-wing house wife," distributed yellow signs that said, "Stop illegal immigration."

Activists had protested at the Capitol for several days in hopes that Brewer would veto the bill. Students had left school Thursday and marched to the statehouse. Other activists marched to a downtown Phoenix hotel Thursday night where Brewer spoke at a fundraising dinner for Chicanos Por La Causa.

Two sisters, Maria and Rocio Vara, protested throughout the day until 1 a.m. and came back six hours later to join in again.

"It's discrimination. Just because you have dark skin doesn't mean you're illegal," Maria Vara said.

On Friday morning, activists stood in a circle at the Capitol, their fists raised into the air while a man in the middle chanted and said prayers in Spanish. They yelled and shouted, carrying signs and waiving banners.

Spanish-language Radio Campesina was urging everyone to go the Capitol on Friday but also cautioned to be careful not to provoke anyone.

Travis Franklin, 24, stood amid the crowd holding a sign that read, "Brewer, I pay your paycheck. So now sign senate bill 1070."

"I'm here to voice my opinion," Franklin said. "Some people called me a racist bastard, I'm not a racist."

The bill is not perfect, Franklin said, but he is willing to support it because he believes that something is better than nothing. A Rasmussen poll of 500 people shows that 70 percent of Arizonans also support the bill. Reporters Jolie McCullough and Jessica Testa contributed to this story.


Truckers plan boycott over Arizona immigration law

by Abby Sewell - Apr. 23, 2010 05:52 PM

Medill News Service

WASHINGTON - Two or three times a week, truck driver Jesus Serrano hauls loads of Mexican-grown produce from warehouses in Nogales, Ariz., which is just across the U.S.-Mexico border, to distribution centers in Los Angeles.

Serrano plans to stop making the trip now that Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a stringent anti-illegal immigration bill into law, however, and he has recruited other truckers to join him.

Serrano, the independent owner-operator of a Los Angeles-based trucking company, said that about 70 drivers based in California and Arizona had agreed to stop moving loads into or out of Arizona in protest of the new law. He hopes to get 200 truckers on board for a five-day boycott that will start within 48 hours of the bill's signing.

Brewer signed the bill Friday, over protests from groups that are concerned about potential racial profiling and other issues. The Arizona Senate had passed the measure Monday after the state House of Representatives OK'd it last week.

The law will require police to check the immigration status of anyone they have "reasonable suspicion" to think might be in the country illegally.

As a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent, Serrano said, he was disturbed when he heard last week that the Arizona House had passed the bill. He began talking to other independent truckers who drive the Nogales-to-Los Angeles circuit, and they planned the boycott over CB radios, on cell phones and at truck stops, Serrano said.

"We're Hispanic; we're Mexican. We've been saying, Are we going to be getting stopped on our way to the store when we're walking to get lunch somewhere?' " Serrano said.

About 40 percent of the Mexican-grown produce that's consumed in North America comes through Nogales, according to Amy Adams, a spokeswoman with the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Serrano said that a revolt among independent truckers would create backlogs in moving that produce out of Nogales warehouses.

However, Collin Stewart, the chairman of the Arizona Trucking Association, hadn't heard of the boycott plans and said he wouldn't expect what he described as a "CB radio revolt" by independent owner-operators to affect distribution significantly.

"I would not imagine there would be any kind of major reduction in the flow or volume of freight," he said. "Usually these things are relegated to a small group of individuals. The immigration debate is a hot topic in Arizona right now, but it always is."

On the other hand, Jaime Chamberlain, the owner of two Nogales-based distribution businesses and the incoming chairman of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, said that a boycott by 70 truckers could have a significant impact on freight rates, which would translate into higher prices. He also thought the state would take an economic hit from lost sales revenue.

"If there are truckers who do feel that this is not a good bill and not a good law, and if they refuse to drive through the state of Arizona, that's not good for Arizona, because every single one of these truckers spends money in our state," he said.

Brewer's office didn't respond to requests for comment on the truckers' boycott. At a news conference Friday when she signed the bill, the governor said it wouldn't bring about racial profiling.

The Arizona bill has stirred a national debate, including among the state's representatives in Congress. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., publicly supported the measure this week, while Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., decried the bill and called for businesses across the country to boycott Arizona if it became law.

President Barack Obama added his voice to the debate Friday, calling the measure misguided.


Arizona immigration bill: In East Valley, opposition march, pray

by Jessica Testa and Shannon O'Connor - Apr. 23, 2010 04:15 PM

The Arizona Republic

As Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law Friday afternoon, a group of worshippers gathered on a Tempe street corner in prayer and a group of Mesa students marched from a school to a city park.

Members of Tempe's St. Augustine Episcopal Parish and the All Saint's Catholic Newman Center gathered on the corner of College Avenue and Broadway Road around noon in a peaceful faith-driven protest.

The Newman Center's Anne Ellsworth said she came up with the idea Thursday night and spread the word through Facebook status updates.

Though the demonstrators came from two different faiths, they joined in a single prayer before beginning their protest.

"Hopefully this protest will inspire some peaceful response afterward if the governor signs the bill," said St. Augustine Episcopal Parish priest Gil Stafford.

The faith-based protesters held a sign that read, "Love thy undocumented immigrant neighbor as thy self."

St. Augustine's music director Chad Sundin, 34, said he wanted to represent the religious community that stands in opposition to the immigration bill.

"I'm trying to hold out hope that she'll respond to the voice of the faith community," Sundin said.

The protest in Tempe lasted until about 1:30 p.m. Brewer signed the bill a few minutes later in a ceremony in Phoenix.

In Mesa, junior high and high school students protested in a nearly two-mile walk from Kino Junior High School near Brown Road and Mesa Drive to Pioneer Park on Main Street and Mesa Drive.

The protest started with 20 students at Kino Junior High School, but around 60 had joined the demonstration by the time the protesters arrived at Pioneer Park. Most of the students were wearing white shirts with hand drawn "Veto 1070" messages.

The students held signs that said, "We are future voters."

The group leader was Magdalena Schwartz, an evangelical minister at Discipulos Del Reino in Mesa. She said she joined to make sure the students were protesting safely, standing on sidewalks, respecting laws and carrying an American flag.

"The spirit these young people have, we cannot stop it," Schwartz said.

The day before the protest, Schwartz contacted Roberto Reveles, the founding president of equal rights coalition called Somos America.

Reveles said student protests became dear to him after he watched students walk out of a school in a March 2006 immigration bill protest, only to be stopped by police.

Reveles spoke to the students, encouraging them to be brave and persistent.

"Don't be discouraged; remember change takes time, sacrifice and action," he said to the students Friday. "Don't let any adults tell you, no se puede, porque si se puede."

As they were walking, Reveles said the students came across a crying 10-year-old girl. She told Reveles she was afraid for her family. Reveles said a group of White children comforted the girl.

The students in the protest came from a cross-section of Mesa schools: Kino Junior High School, Westwood High School, Mesa High School, Carson Junior High School, Superstition High School, Taylor Junior High, Pinnacle High School and Edison Elementary School.


Reactions to Gov. Brewer's decision to sign SB1070.

Apr. 23, 2010 02:41 PM

Andrew Thomas, Former Maricopa County Attorney

"This will give state and local law enforcement officials important new tools for the fight against illegal immigration. I strongly support its passage and look forward to defending the law in court next year should I be elected Attorney General."

Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia. D-27

"Governor Brewer showed the world that she is more willing to put her own reelection bid ahead of vetoing a mean-spirited piece of legislation that targets racial minorities," said Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia. "It is hypocritical of Brewer to have stood in front of two large Latino functions and say that she would do what she believes was right for Arizona. Eroding our economic recovery and marginalizing communities does the exact opposite of what is right."

Sen. Richard Miranda, D-13 Latino Caucus Co-Chair

"At a time when the Governor should be uniting Arizonans, instead she is adding to the animosity surrounding the immigration issue," said Sen. Richard Miranda. "Immigration reform must occur, but it needs to occur starting with the federal level and not at the expense of civil rights of American citizens,"

Rep. Ben Miranda, D-16 Latino Caucus Co-Chair

"The Arizona State Legislative Latino Caucus joins all national groups, organizations and elected officials to ask for immediate action from the Obama Administration to negate the impact of SB 1070 and push for comprehensive immigration reform."

J.D. Hayworth, Republican U.S. Senate candidate

"The Governor did the right thing by signing Senate Bill 1070 into law. It mirrors the 'Enforcement First Act' I authored five years ago in the United States House of Representatives. As John McCain and others serving in Washington have alternated between inaction and amnesty, Arizona acted decisively today to enforce the rule of law and truly secure our border."

Attorney General Terry Goddard

"We've got some very serious crime problems out there, and this bill does not address them. It does not give us tools to go after criminals that are part of the cartels."

Don Bivens, Arizona Democratic Party chairman

"Gov. Brewer promised to do 'what's right for Arizona' with SB1070. Instead, she did only what's right for her upcoming Republican primary. What a wasted opportunity for the governor to show true leadership and courage. Now, our state will suffer as the clock rewinds to the bitter, divisive days of Ev Mecham, when Arizona was seen as a national embarrassment. By signing SB1070, Gov. Brewer has sealed her own legacy of failure."

Connie Anderson of the Valley Interfaith Network

"We're trying to figure out a way to express ourselves in a Christian manner, and be with our families. To be with those who are victimized by this and by those who now feel they are now second-class citizens. This is a very anti-humanitarian law. It needs attention from the federal government, especially when we are attracting national attention."

Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona

"Governor Brewer and the Arizona legislature have set Arizona apart in their willingness to sacrifice our liberties and the economy of this state. By signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we're facing."

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu

"Where I only had 15 deputies who could ask these questions, now I have 230 deputies who can ask those questions. We only ask those after we've had a lawful purpose to have contact with somebody. We're not pulling people over simply because you're driving Hispanic. We're pulling people over because they're breaking the law in some fashion. Some of these people refer to law enforcement being jack-booted thugs. This is outrageous. We're the police who are charged as protectors to safeguard our families and our communities. We take that oath very seriously. In the absence of federal action, our state is now taking action. We can't afford not to take action."

Panfilo H. Contreras, executive director Arizona School Boards Association

The Arizona School Boards Association believes the needs of students must be the foundation of, and driving force behind, the entire educational system and that it is the responsibility of the local school district, with the support of the state and federal governments, to create opportunities for success for each and every student. We fear that SB1070 will create a chilling effect that will make some parents hesitant to send their children to school, even if those children are eligible to attend Arizona public schools, thus inhibiting such opportunities for success.

MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz

"The extremely disappointing news that Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe by signing SB 1070 launches Arizona into a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions. This cowardly gubernatorial act is the epitome of irresponsible leadership. Nonetheless, the Arizona community is not alone. MALDEF and others will be pursuing all legal avenues to challenge this law. We have every expectation, based upon judicial precedent and unquestioned constitutional values, that SB 1070 will be enjoined before it can ever take effect."

Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice

"This legislation is not just about immigrants. It's now open season on all Latinos and it's an absolute travesty that Arizona lawmakers would go to this extreme in the year 2010. It might as well be Mississippi in the 1960's."

Arizona Interfaith Network

Governor Jan Brewer's decision to sign Arizona SB1070 will damage our economy and the social fabric of the state. By codifying racial discrimination, this law makes Arizona the laughing stock of the nation and a pariah on the international stage.

Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR

"We are extremely disappointed that Governor Brewer chose politics over sound policy. She joins a long line of other Arizona politicians who are trying to ensure their own political survival at the expense of the people they claim to represent and serve. This is a watershed moment for the President and Congress. Will they continue to abdicate their responsibility and allow other states to follow suit or will they show leadership and respond to the state of emergency that our communities face by enacting comprehensive immigration reform?"


Arizona Immigration Law: Gov. Brewer's statement

Apr. 23, 2010 02:15 PM

"Thank you for being here today, to join me as we take another step forward in protecting the state of Arizona.

The bill I'm about to sign into law – Senate Bill 1070 – represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix … Click here to find out more!

… The crisis caused by illegal immigration and Arizona's porous border.

This bill, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, strengthens the laws of our state.

It protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully.

And, it does so while ensuring that the constitutional rights of ALL in Arizona remain solid -- stable and steadfast.

I will now sign Senate Bill 1070.

For weeks, this legislation has been the subject of vigorous debate and intense criticism. My decision to sign it was by no means made lightly.

I have listened patiently to both sides. I have considered the significance of this new law long into the night. I have prayed for strength and prayed for our state.

I've decided to sign Senate Bill 1070 into law because, though many people disagree, I firmly believe it represents what's best for Arizona. Border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state, to my Administration and to me, as your Governor and as a citizen.

There is no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life.

We cannot delay while the destruction happening south of our international border creeps its way north.

We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act.

But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.

Yesterday, I announced the steps I was taking to enhance security along our border.

Today – with my unwavering signature on this legislation – Arizona strengthens its security WITHIN our borders.

Let me be clear, though: My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law — both against illegal immigration and against racial profiling.

This legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration enforcement.

Despite erroneous and misleading statements suggesting otherwise, the new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted, verbatim, from the same offense found in federal statute.

I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.

Because I feel so strongly on this subject, I worked for weeks with legislators to amend SB 1070, to strengthen its civil rights protections.

That effort led to new language in the bill, language prohibiting law enforcement officers from "solely considering race, color, or national origin in implementing the requirements of this section…"

The bill already required that it "shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens."

While the general protection was already included, I believe the issue is so important, we needed to make it CRYSTAL clear.

And I believe that we need to more than simply inscribe it in statute.

Words in a law book are of no use if our police officers are not properly trained on the provisions of SB 1070, including its civil rights provisions.

Today I am issuing an executive order directing the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board – AZPOST -- to develop training to appropriately implement SB 1070.

Importantly, this training will include what does – and does not – constitute "reasonable suspicion" that a person is not legally present in the United States.

Currently, AZPOST serves approximately 170 law enforcement agencies encompassing over 16,000 sworn peace officers, 9,000 correctional service officers, and 16 training academies.

The AZPOST Board of Directors includes the Arizona Attorney General, the Directors of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Arizona Department of Corrections, several county sheriffs, and local police departments.

I am also asking the Board to make recommendations on possible improvements to SB 1070 before the end of the year.

For 28 years in public service, I have worked without fail to solve problems diligently and practically. I have done so always with an eye toward civility, and always with the greatest respect for the rule of law.

This new law is no different: As committed as I am to protecting our state from crime associated with illegal immigration I am EQUALLY committed to holding law enforcement accountable should this statute ever be misused to violate an individual's rights.

Respect for the rule of law means respect for every law. I have led that way every day in every office I have ever held. That will not change.

I have also spent my career in service to Arizona working to bring people together, no matter the color of their skin and no matter the depth of our disagreements.

This bill – and this issue – will be no exception.

While protecting our citizens is paramount, it cannot come at the expense of the diversity that has made Arizona so great. Nor can safety mean a compromise of freedom for some, while we, the many, turn a blind eye.

We must acknowledge the truth – people across America are watching Arizona, seeing how we implement this law, ready to jump on even the slightest misstep.

Some of those people from outside our state have an interest in seeing us fail.

They will wait for a single slip-up, one mistake, and then they will work day and night to create headlines and get the face time they so desperately covet.

We cannot give them that chance.

We must use this new tool wisely, and fight for our safety with the honor Arizona deserves.

We must react calmly.

We must enforce the law evenly, and without regard to skin color, accent, or social status.

We must prove the alarmists and the cynics wrong.

I know in my heart that this great state, my home for more than 40 years, is up to the task.

I believe every one of us wants to be safe, and none of us wants to compromise on the subject of civil rights.

I believe we must love and honor those who fight beside us – just as we must love and honor those who look and believe nothing like we do.

I believe Arizona, like America, is governed by laws.

Good laws … well-intentioned laws … laws that confer respect and that demand respect in return.

In his third State of the Union address, President Theodore Roosevelt said, "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor."

So, let us move forward -- ever mindful of our rights …

-- ever faithful to the law … and ever conscious of our bond as Arizonans, and the blessing we share together.

Thank you."


Arizona's immigration law may spur a showdown

Gov. Jan Brewer signs a bill that opponents say encourages racial profiling. President Obama calls the measure 'misguided.' A federal review is underway.

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

April 23, 2010 | 4:54 p.m.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country, shrugging aside warnings from religious and civil rights leaders — and President Obama — that it would lead to widespread racial profiling.

Hours after Obama denounced the measure as "misguided," Brewer held a signing ceremony for the bill, which makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork.

Obama signaled that a legal showdown might be possible and that his administration would "examine the civil rights and other implications" of the law. Department of Justice officials said they "were reviewing the bill" but declined to discuss the legislation further. Immigrant rights groups have vowed a court fight, arguing that regulating immigration is a federal matter.

Brewer, at an afternoon news conference in Phoenix, cast the law in terms of public safety, saying, "We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels." Brewer said she would order the state police training agency to form guidelines to train officers and protect against racial profiling.

Brewer spent as much time during her remarks talking about diversity and the need to avoid racial profiling as she did about fighting crime and protecting Arizona from illegal immigration. "People across America are watching Arizona, seeing how we implement this law, ready to jump on the slightest misstep," she said.

But the law's opponents were highly skeptical that it could be enforced without police singling out Latinos. One provision of the law prevents police from using race "solely" to form a suspicion about someone's legality, but the law does not prevent race from being a factor.

The bill, SB 1070, landed on Brewer's desk Monday afternoon; she had until Saturday to sign or veto it. The Republican governor, who is advocating a 1% sales tax hike on the ballot next month, faces a tough primary in August. Virtually every Republican in the state Legislature voted for the bill.

Hundreds of high school students left classes this week in protest, pouring into the plaza outside the state Capitol and urging a veto. Religious leaders and police chiefs — and thousands of callers to the governor's office — pressed for Brewer to reject the bill. Some Arizona officials argued it would stigmatize the state much as its past refusal to honor the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. U.S. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, a Democrat who represents southern Arizona, called for a convention boycott of his own state.

But a recent poll showed that 70% of state voters supported the measure — even though 53% said it could lead to civil rights violations. Because of that broad support in a state that is the main gateway for illegal immigrants into the United States, people on both sides of the debate have long expected Brewer to sign the bill.

"It's a sad day for the country," said Alfredo Gutierrez, a former Arizona Senate majority leader who fought against the bill. "This is the most oppressive piece of legislation since the Japanese internment camp act" during World War II, he added.

Supporters of the measure were elated.

"Arizona is actually taking the lead in doing what the president is failing to do, which is to protect the interests of the people of Arizona," said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "What the Legislature and Gov. Brewer are saying is, ‘If the president won't do it, we're going to do it ourselves.' "

Unless opponents can stop it with lawsuits, the law will take effect 90 days after the legislative session ends this month or in May.

The law creates the new misdemeanor and requires police to enforce it. The law's supporters argue that fears of widespread racial profiling are overblown and that the measure will instead be used sparingly by police to augment investigations into crimes.

But many of those supporters also cite the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose deputies have for years enforced federal immigration laws, as a model for how the rest of Arizona police should operate. Arpaio's office is regularly accused of racially profiling Latinos and is subject to a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"The state of Arizona has turned its back on everything we call American," said Father Glenn Jenks of the Arizona Interfaith Network, one of a wide range of religious groups that urged a veto. "The Hispanic community is already terrorized. Many of them are saying, ‘We're going to get out of here' — and not just illegal immigrants."

In Washington, Obama cited the law during a citizenship ceremony for 24 active-duty service members as an example of why the nation needs a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

"Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others," Obama said in the Rose Garden ceremony. "That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."

Obama has devoted more energy to passing an immigration bill this year, but the prospects remain dim, with only one Republican senator voicing measured support and some Democrats hoping it gets put off.

In Arizona, officials said they acted because the federal government had failed to secure their border with Mexico, making the state vulnerable to drug traffickers and human smugglers who are blamed in the killing of a rancher on his land in southern Arizona last month.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Brewer's predecessor, said the law would hinder federal law enforcement efforts in the state.

"With the strong support of state and local law enforcement, I vetoed several similar pieces of legislation as governor of Arizona because they would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve," she said in a statement.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, who wrote the legislation, scoffed at Obama's opposition, contending that the president stood "against law enforcement, our citizens and the rule of law."

Gutierrez said Obama's statements heartened activists who were angered by recent federal immigration raids and the lack of an immigration bill in Washington. "People were beginning to feel mighty abandoned by the administration," he said, "and that helped calm it."

Times staff writer Richard Serrano and Peter Nicholas in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.


Obama calls Arizona move on immigration 'misguided'

April 23, 2010 | 8:29 am

President Barack Obama, urging Congress Friday to press forward on “comprehensive immigration reform,’’ warned that the absence of federal action will only encourage “misguided efforts’’ such as those in Arizona.

With support from some Republicans as well as Democrats in the Senate, the president is attempting to renew a long-simmering debate over immigration reform in Congress. His goal, he maintains, is not only to strengthen the borders, but also to address the fate of the many millions of immigrants who already have arrived in the U.S. illegally.

"Surely we can all agree that when 11 million people are living here illegally, that's unacceptable,'' Obama said Friday at a naturalization ceremony for 24 members of the U.S. armed forces on the South Lawn of the White House.

“Indeed, our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,’’ Obama said. "And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.’’

In Arizona, a legislative attempt to crack down on undocumented immigrations has spurred protests and counter-protests, with the governor there weighing a bill that allows authorities to check the documents of anyone suspected of being an illegal immigration. The president used an address to 24 new citizens from 16 other nations at the naturalization ceremony outside the White House to call for immigration reform.

The president said he had instructed his administration “to closely monitor the situation’’ in Arizona and “examine the civil rights and other implications’’ of the Arizona legislation. It points to the need for federal legislation, the president said.

“But if we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country,’’ Obama said. Janet Napolitano, the Homeland Security secretary from Arizona, swore in the newest American citizens on the South Lawn.

"It takes a very special individual to serve and defend a nation that is not yet fully your own,'' Napolitano told them. "Since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. ... has naturalized over 58,000 members of our Armed Services.''

Obama opened by thanking Napolitano for her efforts in seeking "comprehensive immigration reform.'' "Some of you came to America as children ... some of you came as adults,'' the president told his audience.

All of them, he said, embody the dream that many immigrants before them have sought.

"We celebrate the spirit of possibility,'' Obama said. "If you believe in yourself and you play by the rules, then there is a place for you in the United States of America ... We celebrate the true meaning of patriotism.''

Friday, he said, "we celebrate the very essence of the country we love ... an America where so many of our forebearers came from someplace else... “We are also reminded of how we must remain both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,'' he said. "This means fixing our broken immigration laws.''

The government has a responsibility to enforce the law and strengthen border security, the president said, and those here illegally have a responsibility to pay back taxes, learn English and "get right with the law'' before they can apply for citizenship.

The president cited progress that is being made on "a framework on moving forward'' in Congress and encouraged leaders to continue working. In the Senate, leaders are weighing whether to take up immigration reform or an energy bill after finishing work on new financial regulations for the nation’s banking and investment industry.

-- Mark Silva


Hispanics fear profiling under immigration law

by Jonathon J. Cooper - Apr. 24, 2010 04:45 PM

Associated Press

Arodi Berrelleza isn't one of the targets of Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigration - he's a U.S. citizen, a high school student from Phoenix.

But the 18-year-old said he's afraid he'll be arrested anyway if police see him driving around with friends and relatives, some of them illegal immigrants.

"If a cop sees them and they look Mexican, he's going to stop me," Berrelleza said. "What if people are U.S. citizens? They're going to be asking them if they have papers because of the color of their skin."

Berrelleza's concerns were echoed by Hispanics across the state Saturday, a day after Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that requires police to question people about their immigration status - including asking for identification - if they suspect someone is in the country illegally.

The new law, which will take effect in late July or early August, was cheered by many, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose tough crackdowns have made him a hero in the anti-illegal immigration community. He said it gives him new authority to detain undocumented migrants who aren't accused of committing any other crimes.

"Now if we show they're illegal, we can actually arrest them and put them in our jails," Arpaio said.

Current law in Arizona and most states doesn't require police to ask about the immigration status of those they come across, and many departments prohibit officers from inquiring out of fear immigrants won't report crime or cooperate in other investigations.

Now, police departments seen as weak on illegal immigration could face lawsuits. The new measure also toughens restrictions on hiring illegal immigrants for day labor and knowingly transporting them.

Arizona has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants and is the state with the most illegal border crossings, with the harsh, remote desert serving as the gateway for thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans.

Arpaio said he hoped Arizona's example coerces the federal government into acting to seal the border. President Barack Obama called the new law "misguided" Friday and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal, but also allowed that the failure to enact immigration reform at the national level left the door open to "irresponsibility by others."

"You're going to see a lot of interest with the politicians in Washington to get something done," Arpaio said. "Because I think they'll be afraid that other states will follow this new law that's now been passed."

Mexican President Felipe Calderon's office said in a statement Saturday that "the Mexican government condemns the approval of the law" and "the criminalization of migration, far from contributing to collaboration and cooperation between Mexico and the state of Arizona, represents an obstacle to solving the shared problems of the border region." [Isn't Felipe Calderon the jerk who declared war on the people of Mexico and has caused 20,000+ deaths because of his stupid drug war?]

Mona Patton, a 58-year-old real estate agent from Prescott, said she's proud of Brewer and the Legislature for trying to protect people from violent drug cartels.

"When Arizonans aren't safe then something has to be done. We've got to let law enforcement handle things," Patton said.

A handful of protesters lingered at the state Capitol Saturday morning, with a bigger rally expected to draw hundreds on Sunday afternoon. Opponents of the law also gathered in Tucson outside the campaign headquarters of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat who opposes the measure and said his staff has been flooded with phone calls, some from people threatening violence and shouting racial slurs.

Brewer has ordered state officials to develop a training course for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion someone is in the U.S. illegally. [If your a racist cop that's easy - they have brown skin. On the other hand last time I checked lots of legal US citizens have brown skin]

Civil rights advocates vowed to challenge the law in court, saying it would undoubtedly lead to racial profiling despite Brewer's assurances.

Supporters dismiss concerns about racial profiling, saying the law prohibits the use of race or nationality as the sole basis for an immigration check. [fingers crossed - Russell Pearce is an ex-cop and knows cops will stop people with brown skin and make up an excuse for "probable cause" after the fact] The measure's sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, said opponents are using racial profiling as a cover for their true concern - deportation.

"This is not about profiling. [yea sure it ain't about profiling! liar!] They're worried about the laws being enforced," Pearce said.

Largely because of Arpaio's policies, Arizona was known for tough illegal immigration crackdowns even before Brewer signed the bill into law.

But Arpaio's jurisdiction is limited, and the new law will have its biggest impact in the rest of the state, where many police bosses have long resisted suggestions that their officers conduct day-to-day immigration enforcement, saying it would distract them from investigating other crimes and sow distrust among immigrants.

Immigrant advocates say the bill could worsen an already tenuous relationship between law enforcement and Hispanics in Arizona.

State Sen. Rebecca Rios, a Phoenix Democrat and fourth-generation Arizonan, said she's concerned about her 14-year-old son being harassed by police because of his brown skin, black hair and dark-brown eyes.

"I don't want my son or anyone else's son targeted simply because of their physical characteristics," Rios said. "There's no reason I should have to carry around any proof of citizenship, nor my son."

After Brewer signed the bill, a reporter asked if she knew what an illegal immigrant looks like.

"I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like," Brewer said. "I can tell you there are people in Arizona who assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like. I don't know if they know that for a fact or not."

But she said with the training being developed for police officers, "the law will be enforced civilly, fairly and without discriminatory points to it."


Arizona immigration bill: Lawyers group to boycott Arizona

by Jessica Testa - Apr. 23, 2010 09:57 PM

The Arizona Republic

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has vowed to boycott the state of Arizona, canceling their fall national convention at the Scottsdale Marriott.

The boycott comes hours after Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law.

"Right after the bill was signed, our board of governors had an emergency meeting and voted on whether or not we would keep the conference in Scottsdale," said former AILA chair Mo Goldman, a Tucson attorney.

The vote to cancel and relocate the convention was nearly unanimous, Goldman said.

The venue's penalty for canceling the event is approximately $92,000, though the association is attempting to mitigate the cost.

"As an association, we couldn't in good conscience spend the association's money in a state that has this kind of policy," Goldman said.

Goldman said AILA views the bill, which would allow officers to request citizenship identification from any person at any time, as unconstitutional.

It is unknown what the final costs of the cancellation will be.


Opponents: Bill 'hateful, motivated by racism'

Hayley Ringle, Tribune

April 23, 2010 - 5:03PM

The Associated Press

As Gov. Jan Brewer signed one of the toughest immigration bills into law Friday, Hispanic groups and many religious leaders are rising up in opposition, calling the bill “a slap in the face,” “political suicide,” and “hateful and motivated by racism.”

Napoleon Pisano, a member of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, said even though he was born and raised in Arizona, he is now considered a “person under suspicion.” Pisano, a Mesa resident, is a Vietnam War veteran and said despite defending the U.S., he now has to prove he’s a citizen.

“I see Arizona going backwards versus forward,” Pisano said. “There’s no question in my mind that racial profiling will become more rampant. A percentage of police officers will see this as their opportunity to enforce something that they should not be enforcing. They will be stopping people of color and demanding documentation.

“It reminds me so much of what happened during the early part of WWII when you had the criminalization of Jews because they are Jews,” Pisano added. “Now you have the criminalization of Hispanics because they are Hispanics. You got to prove your innocence now vs. the government proving you’re guilty. It’s definitely a sad day in Arizona as this law goes forward.”

The Arizona Hispanic Republicans said SB 1070 “is a direct slap in the face to Hispanic Americans” and called the passage of the bill “political suicide” for Brewer, according to a statement.

“(Gov.) Jan Brewer’s decision will mark today as the day in which Hispanic Americans will follow the footsteps of the great Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.,” according to the statement. “(Sen. Russell) Pearce, (R-Mesa) and Brewer do not see the unintended consequences of their actions, and it appears that they were willing to make decisions that affect us at the cost of trampling on our Constitutional rights.”

Whether the bill will ever be enforced remains to be seen, with many groups saying they will file lawsuits.

Chris Newman, the legal director with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which represents day laborers throughout the country, said they are going to take “appropriate” legal action to prevent the bill’s implementation.

“This bill is hateful and motivated by racism,” said Newman, who was in Phoenix Friday from Los Angeles. “It’s pre-empted by federal law. We live in the United States of America and we do not want to be divided by 50 different state policies on immigration. Arizona is distinguishing itself from the rest of the country in a way that the country will condemn.”

Arizona clergy had urged Brewer to reject the immigration enforcement bill “for the good of the state of Arizona and its people.”

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson said SB 1070 is “inadequate legislation” and “will not address issues of concern” of drug and human trafficking and border security.

“Hopefully it will become clear that it’s not a good law and will never be implemented,” Kicanas said by phone Friday from Tucson. “We need to implement measures to address border security, including drug and human trafficking, but not to pass legislation that will heighten fear and divide our community.”

Kicanas joined Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmstead, Bishop Jim Wall of Gallup, N.M., Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona Thursday to urge Brewer to reject SB 1070.

Many think President Obama should be doing more to ensure the state border issues are being taken care of.

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network is calling for Obama to come to Arizona for a noon Sunday civil rights rally and demonstration at the State Capitol. Newman said civil rights leaders from around the country will attend to “reassure that their civil rights will be respected.”

The Arizona Hispanic Republicans said if Obama had followed through on his promise to Hispanics to pass immigration reform within 90 days of his presidency, the Hispanic community would not be “experiencing the crisis” they are in now.

Armando Espinoza, president of the Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens, is “very disappointed” Brewer signed SB 1070, he told the Tribune Friday.

Espinoza is a native Arizonan who now lives in Tempe and said the bill will challenge the Hispanic community to prove they are legal citizens.

“The impact upon our community would be devastating,” according to a Mesa Association of Hispanic Citizens statement. “By allowing this to become law, it will only reinforce the misguided belief that legal status can be determined by looking at or listening to a person, which will accelerate the fracturing of our communities, distrust in local law enforcement and sets the stage for unconstitutional persecution based on racial, ethnic, religious, and linguistic identity.”

More reaction Friday from opponents of SB 1070:

“Arizona’s leading community development is deeply disappointed and outraged over Governor Brewer’s decision today to sign Senate Bill 1070, the most hateful piece of legislation in recent history. Senate Bill 1070 mandates racial profiling by requiring police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ to believe is in the United States illegally. This law does not have any exemption for children, who would not typically carry identification, making our young people especially vulnerable. This is only one of the several violations of civil rights contained in this bill that concern CPLC.” -- Chicanos Por La Causa

“Hispanics are more aligned with Republican values because of our social conservative values and our belief in the Creator; and if Hispanics want to make a real change to help change the face of our party to bring it back to the party of Abraham Lincoln, then I call upon all Latinos (Democrat and Independent) to register themselves as Republicans in order to bring it back to those roots.” -- Arizona Hispanic Republicans

“Governor Brewer showed the world that she is more willing to put her own re-election bid ahead of vetoing a mean-spirited piece of legislation that targets racial minorities. It is hypocritical of Brewer to have stood in front of two large Latino functions and say that she would do what she believes was right for Arizona. Eroding our economic recovery and marginalizing communities does the exact opposite of what is right.” -- Sen. Jorge Luis Garcia, D-Tucson

“At a time when the Governor should be uniting Arizonans, instead she is adding to the animosity surrounding the immigration issue. Immigration reform must occur, but it needs to occur starting with the federal level and not at the expense of civil rights of American citizens.” -- Sen. Richard Miranda, D-Phoenix

“The eyes of the world are on Arizona. The costs in human and economic terms will be felt for a generation, if not more. The idea that SB 1070 will secure borders and ensure safe neighborhoods is ludicrous and unsupported.” -- Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix


Brewer signs sweeping immigration bill

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

April 23, 2010 - 1:37PM

Tim Hacker, Tribune

Defending its legality, Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed what is the toughest state law in the country designed to combat illegal immigration.

The governor rejected claims that the legislation, which gives police more power to stop and detain those not in this country legally, amounts to legalized racial profiling. She said the measure, in the version that finally reached her Monday, contains sufficient protections to individual constitutional rights.

And if that isn't enough, Brewer signed an executive order requiring that all police officers get proper training about when they can -- and cannot -- stop and question people about their immigration status.

The governor pointed out, both in her statement and that executive order, that the new law prohibits police from using race or ethnicity as the sole factor in determining whether to pursue an inquiry.

But she conceded that it does permit either to be used as one factor for an officer's consideration. And she defended the language.

"We have to trust our law enforcement,'' Brewer said. "Police officers are going to be respectful. "They know what their jobs are, they've taken an oath. And racial profiling is illegal.''

But Phoenix attorney David Selden, who was involved in challenging a 2006 law aimed at companies that knowingly hired illegal immigrants, said allowing race to be used as a factor at all is unconstitutional.

"That was a strategy used by white segregationists when they were trying to gut the (federal) civil rights bill,'' he said. Selden suggested the same logic may be at work here.

"If they're not going to allow racial profiling, let's get 'race' out of it entirely,'' he said, rather than continuing to let police consider it.

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who crafted the legislation, defended allowing it to be used as a factor. He said it recognizes that 90 percent of those who come to this country illegally are from Mexico or points south.

"You can't just say it's not ever a factor,'' he said. "It may be.''

Anyway, Pearce argued, police need a reason to pull someone over in the first place.

And he blamed "the mainstream media'' for promoting "this misinformation.''

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said the governor's signature marks "one of the darkest days in Arizona's history.'' At the same time, she sought to calm fears in the Hispanic community, saying she is confident a court will step in and declare the law unconstitutional, preventing it from taking effect as scheduled in early August.

"There's no need to flee, there's no need to leave,'' she said.

Pearce, however, said some people should be worried.

"If you're here illegally, you should be concerned, just like if you drive drunk,'' he said. "The law is going to be enforced.''

But Pearce said those who are U.S. citizens "have all the safety and security they've always had.''

President Barack Obama said earlier Friday that he's instructed the Justice Department to examine the Arizona bill to see if it's legal, and said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others."

"That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

Several groups, including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund already have vowed to sue.

Brewer said she expects the law to survive "in most areas,'' but did not elaborate.

She also said those who believe that this law will lead to civil rights violations are "alarmists.''

The governor said there has been "a lot of misinformation'' about what's in the bill in the media.

"But there are people who are alarmists, who want to cause chaos, and they particularly don't want to always listen to the facts,'' the governor said.

Attorney General Terry Goddard said those who challenge the law may have a case.

Goddard said he won't be involved in any decisions of his office on how and whether to defend the statute, as he is running against Brewer for governor and publicly called on her to veto the measure. Those determinations, he said, will be made independently by his chief deputy.

But Goddard said that, as a lawyer, there are elements of the law that could be troubling -- depending on how the statute is enforced.

One is that ability to use race or ethnicity as a factor in determining whether there is "reasonable suspicion'' to question someone stopped for some other legitimate reason about their immigration status.

And then, he said, is there's the whole question of what constitutes reasonable suspicion in the first place.

Goddard said seeing someone come over the border illegally certainly counts. So does being found with others who admit they're illegal immigrants.

"It's one of the troubling things about this statute: So many things are subjective,'' Goddard said.

At Friday's press conference, Brewer seemed flustered by a question of what an illegal immigrant looks like.

"I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like,'' the governor responded. She said that is one reason for her order for more training of police.

"The law will be enforce civilly, fairly and without discriminatory points to it,'' Brewer said.

Brewer also brushed aside concerns that illegal immigrants who are crime victims or witnesses won't come forward, as it would open them to be being questioned about their immigration status.

That is based on the most controversial part of the measure which says that when police officers make an official contact with anyone, a "reasonable attempt shall be made, when practical, to determine the immigration status of the person.''

Brewer, however, noted there is an exception to that requirement if making that inquiry "may hinder or obstruct an investigation.''

Goddard, however, noted that is based on each officer's individual determination.

On top of that, another section of the measure prohibits government from limiting the ability of their officers to enforce federal immigration law. And any citizen who believes a community is violating that can file suit.

Brewer ended the press conference as a question was being asked about the possibility companies and organizations may boycott Arizona, refusing to have their conferences and conventions here. But she did acknowledge, to a related question, that there may be businesses that react negatively to the bitter political fight.

"I would say that that's unfortunate and it makes me very distressed, to say the least, the governor said.

"But there are also CEOs and business out there that want to know they can live in a safe and secure community and they would like to see the border secured,'' Brewer said.

There was a lot of political pressure on Brewer to sign the controversial measure which would give police new powers to stop and arrest illegal immigrants.

All three of her Republican foes in the gubernatorial primary are on record urging a signature. And every Republican legislator, except for Sen. Carolyn Allen of Scottsdale, voted for the legislation.

Brewer, however, sidestepped the question of how politics figured into her decision.

"I would like to believe that any politician, when they are elected, after they're elected, they do what's right for the people of Arizona,'' she said. And then, speaking of herself in the third person, she said, "I think it's very, very important that the people out there understand that Gov. Jan Brewer of the great state of Arizona, would always do what's right for the people of Arizona.''

Brewer's signing came a day after she directed that $10 million be made available to local and tribal police agencies which propose ways they can assist border security efforts. She also directed the state Department of Public Safety to come up with plans to help border counties if they seek assistance.

Friday, as the day before, she said Arizona needs to act because of the failure in Washington.

"The majority of the people of Arizona are very disappointed and frustrated with the federal government in regards to illegal immigration into the state,'' she said. "And they want to put a stop to it. I think that's pretty evident.''

The governor scheduled her press conference at an auditorium in a state-owned building about a mile from the Capitol. The location not only provide space for the local and national media interested in the issue but also created some separation from the approximately 2,000 people who gathered in the mall between the House and Senate.

The gathering was peaceful for the most part, although one juvenile was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer and another person was escorted from the scene for inciting a disturbance after several people threw water bottles at police and emergency vehicles.


Schools could be impacted by immigration law

Michelle Reese, Tribune

April 23, 2010 - 4:44PM

While school districts are not directly addressed in the immigration law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday, they are “political subdivisions” which could share information with law enforcement groups.

“It does appear the bill is encouraging information sharing, but it does not require it,” Annie Lai, staff attorney for the Phoenix office of the ACLU, told the Tribune earlier in the week, prior to Brewer’s signing of the law.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion about what might happen,” Lai said. “It’s impossible for any of us to predict how schools or any governmental institution will interpret this law. I don’t see the law as telling schools they need to collect this information, particularly because it would appear to violate state guidance and federal court cases.”

A 1978 Arizona Attorney General opinion states that schools cannot ask about immigration status and cannot condition enrollment on providing proof of lawful immigration. Schools can only ask where a person resides.

“If the question is, ‘Should parents still enroll their kids in school?’ the answer is yes,” Lai said.

Mesa Unified School District’s community liaison Deanna VillaNueva-Saucedo said earlier this week that parents often call schools when immigration laws or issues arise.

“Whenever this type of legislation comes up or (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) has immigration sweeps, I have parents making concerns, ‘What is this is going to do to the climate?’ or “What’s it going to do to the family?’” she said.

VillaNueva-Saucedo did not have a number of inquiries.

“I have not had a lot of calls, but it is a topic of discussion with a lot of community members,” she said.


A look at Arizona's tough immigration bill

The Associated Press

April 14, 2010 - 7:21PM

Arizona lawmakers are on the verge of passing SB 1070, a bill that would be the nation's toughest crackdown on illegal immigration. Here's a look at what the bill would do:

- Create the state crime of "willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document," effectively criminalizing the presence of illegal immigrants.

- Require local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are here illegally.

- Allow Arizona residents to sue if they feel a government agency has adopted a policy that hinders the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. Judges could fine agencies that are found to have such policies.

- Prohibit people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners, and prohibit illegal immigrants from working or seeking work as an independent contractor.

- Make it illegal to knowingly transport illegal immigrants if the driver is in violation of a separate criminal offense, with exceptions for emergency workers and Child Protective Services employees.


Balancing act for cops who must enforce new law

Mike Sakal, Tribune

April 23, 2010 - 7:00PM , updated: April 23, 2010 - 7:13PM

Vowing to hold law enforcement accountable if a new immigration law is misused [yea sure! I have never seen a cop punished for violating a suspects civil rights - are cops who now violate the civil rights of brown skinned people going to be magically punished?], Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday issued an executive order to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to develop training to properly implement the law.

Brewer issued the order moments after signing SB 1070 into law.

Lyle Mann, board executive director, said officials have not had sufficient time to review the executive order. But he said the board will do “all it needs to do” to meet the governor’s demands.

“Anytime there’s a new law, we have to start thinking about what we’re going to do,” Mann said. “This is a training issue and we do what we have to do to facilitate training of police officers. That’s our business. We’ll do what has to be done.”

The new law allows police officers to arrest those they believe are in this country illegally. Those in violation are subject to the misdemeanor offense of trespassing punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine before deportation.

The bill raises concerns by some in law enforcement because it is unfunded and may lead to racial profiling. It also allows individuals to sue local police departments if they believe they are not fully enforcing the law. Municipalities could be fined between $1,000 to $5,000 per day in such instances.

Brewer said that she hopes the law enforcement board will have a training program developed and returned to her by May. The AZPOST board of directors includes the Arizona Attorney General, the directors of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Department of Corrections, several county sheriffs and local police departments. Brewer also is requesting the board make recommendations on possible improvements to SB 1070 before the end of the year. Mann said it was too early to tell whether the group will make any recommendations.

As the bill progressed through the state House of Representatives and the Senate, it divided police chiefs and officers.

The Arizona Police Association, which represents 18 Valley law enforcement associations and about 9,000 sworn officers, supports the measure.

“This bill provides us with another tool which will allow us to receive intelligence and take dangerous people out of neighborhoods,” said Brian Livingston, association executive director. “Our main concern was that it was extremely important to ensure that peoples’ constitutional rights were protected. Racial profiling occurs when a police officer stops a person for none other than the color of their skin. Police can’t stop someone without cause. They have to have a reason.”

Among East Valley cities, the Mesa Police Association, which represents 600 sworn police officers, initially opposed the bill. But it now supports it after seeing its final version.

The Tempe Officers Association, Chandler Law enforcement Association and the Gilbert Police Leadership Association also are among the unions that support the new law.

However, the Arizona Association of Police Chiefs oppose the measure. It contends that it would hinder the investigation of more serious crimes and erode the trust between police and immigrant communities.

“We’ve opposed the law from the beginning,” said John Thomas, a lobbyist for the group.

Bryan Soller, president of Fraternal Order of Police’s Mesa Lodge No. 9, said the law is “not going to change the way we do business and officers have the discretion in enforcing it.”

“I don’t see us running amuck with the law,” Soller said. “This law isn’t going to stop drug trafficking, human smuggling or illegal immigration. That’s going to take a bigger thing than us. Our concerns are what this is going to cost our cities, jails and prisons, or if we have to pay the $200 booking fee to take them to the county jail if our jail is full. But, we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll make it work.”

The Mesa City Jail can hold 24 inmates, but most nights it’s overbooked, Soller said.

Even the day before Brewer signed the bill, Mesa’s elected officials worried about the cost of jailing those arrested under the law. Mesa police told the City Council to expect more arrests and substantially higher jail costs, though they couldn’t provide an estimate. While council members did not criticize the bill, they blasted lawmakers for passing the cost on to cities.

“This is an unfunded mandate,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “There’s no money, just demands.”

The success of law depends on the training local police officers receive from federal immigration officers so they can properly enforce the law, according to Neville Cramer of Scottsdale, a retired special agent in the Department of Justice’s Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Cramer, who worked for the agency for nearly 30 years, said he fully supports the law, which he believes will send a strong message to Washington.

“Training is going to make or break this law,” said Cramer, who has written two books that chronicle immigration problems throughout the United States and offers suggestions on how to fix them. “It’s a great bill and will serve a purpose.”

Cramer said that there’s three things that are needed for the bill to be a success.

“One, officers need to be taught about different nationalities,” he said. “Two, officers need to be trained about different documents — and not just by being given a book with four or five different pictures in it. And three, give officers training on how to prevent racial profiling.”


Immigration another black eye for Arizona

Tribune Editorial

April 25, 2010 - 9:48AM

At a time when Arizona needs to attract business and boost tourism dollars, Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to sign a controversial immigration bill gives a doozy of a black eye to the state’s image.

Senate Bill 1070 requires immigrants to carry proof they are in the United States legally, and requires law enforcement to question the legal status of persons they suspect are illegal aliens — raising fears the new law will lead to racial profiling.

Economic development officials are rightly concerned that the backlash over this law will hurt their efforts. Who wants to vacation in or relocate to a state where people of different nationalities are questioned by law enforcement based largely on the color of their skin?

It’s the latest in a long line of PR debacles for the Grand Canyon State. Among them: Gov. Evan Mecham being impeached in 1988 and indicted for misuse of state funds; the 1997 resignation of Gov. Fife Symington amid fraud and extortion allegations; the 1991 AzScam sting in which legislators accepted bribes to legalize gambling; and the 1966 Miranda V. Arizona case that established suspects must be informed of their legal rights when arrested.

This is also the state that decided this month to wipe out current law which makes it a crime to carry a hidden gun without first obtaining a state-issued permit, a measure opposed by the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police whose lobbyist testified the change “will take Arizona back to the Wild West.”

Even before Brewer signed the immigration law, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva called for business groups to boycott the state for meetings and conferences. Such a boycott wouldn’t be the first time Arizona was shunned and shut out.

In 1982, President Reagan signed a bill making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal holiday, but it wasn’t until almost a decade later that Arizona finally recognized it. In the meantime, the state lost NFL support and Super Bowl XXVII. The game — and the economic boost that comes with a Super Bowl — was to have been held at Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium in 1993, but was moved to California to protest the state’s failure to recognize the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Brewer told Capitol Media Services that a business boycott “would be a really unfortunate situation.” But the threat of that — to say nothing of the outcry from the state’s Hispanic citizens, community organizations, religious leaders, and thousands of protesters at the Capitol — didn’t stop her from signing Senate Bill 1070, legislation that President Barack Obama said Friday would violate the civil rights of people.

Brewer called the bill an important step forward in protecting Arizona and its citizens. She pledged to hold law enforcement accountable for any abuse of the new law, and said she has directed the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to come up with appropriate guidelines for enforcing it.

“I believe every one of us wants to be safe, and none of us wants to compromise on the subject of civil rights,” Brewer said after signing the legislation.

The governor urged Arizonans not to be alarmists, but to be “patient, look and listen” as the law is carried out.

The federal government will be watching too.

Obama has instructed the Justice Department to examine the Arizona law to see if it’s legal. He also said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to “irresponsibility by others.”

Time will tell if Brewer and the Arizona Legislature have acted irresponsibly with the passage of this law.

That’s why, as the governor herself suggested, we all need to be patient, look and listen to ensure the civil rights of people are not trampled under the pressure to crack down on illegal immigration.


Arizona governor signs nation's toughest immigration bill. What will it mean for California?

April 23, 2010 | 4:44 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the stiffest law against illegal immigration in the nation Friday, ignoring warnings from critics, including religious and civil rights leaders and President Obama, that it would lead to widespread racial profiling. Brewer signed SB 1070, which makes it a crime to not possess proper immigration paperwork and requires police to determine whether people are in the country illegally. Immigrant rights groups have promised to challenge the law from taking effect, arguing that regulating immigration is a federal matter.

"For weeks, this legislation has been subject to vigorous debate and intense criticism," Brewer said in televised comments before signing the bill into law. She said she prayed for guidance.

"I firmly believe this represents what is best for Arizona," she said, adding that the law would help protect her state from crime from Mexico. She said the law ensures that "the constitutional rights of all remain solid, stable and steadfast. I will now sign."

Recently our readers responded to the bill after state lawmakers passed it. After Times staff reported the story and a follow-up, almost 500 comments on both sides of the issue poured in. The comments never stopped coming in during the week. Here is some of what people had to say about the bill:

Protestors JD wrote: It's not like they're talking about demanding birth certificates as verification for your average adult which would certainly be awkward to carry around. Just a driver's license is all you need to prove citizenship, which every adult should be carrying at all times anyway. And if you don't have a DL, you get an ID Card through the DMV. Problem solved. If you have a problem with that then you probably have something to hide.

MadMommy wrote: This legislation will surely discourage illegal immigrants from choosing to settle in Arizona. It will also increase the illegal immigrant population in California and Texas because they can get away with living without any documents in those states.

California is bankrupt from the sanctuary policies while our leaders protect the rights of illegal immigrants over the rights of it's citizens. The state of California pays in excess of 9 BILLION dollars per year to illegal immigrants and their offspring. The river of taxpayer money flowing to illegal immigrants needs to stop. Illegal immigrants steal American jobs and send countless millions South of the border. Those are American jobs lost while the money leaves the country and never gets taxed or spent here.

American wrote: I love this bill !!! Its about time someone took a stand. Every state in the union should be as brave as AZ to enforce immigration laws that the illegals seem to think don't apply to them. The U.S. cannot have a segment of the population disregard laws they don't like while the rest of us must oblige. Laws have penalties and if illegals cannot follow the law, then they deserver to get deported. I applaud AZ for their bold steps, lack of political correctness and going after these criminals. Racial profiling is the Mexican excuse and justication for saying laws should not be enforced for them, you know, because they have RIGHTS. What a joke. People are asked for ID all the time and no one cries its racial. Illegals need to just self deport because Americans are fed up with their nonsense. There will be no immigratino reform and no amnesty as Americans just want the illegals deported. They are a drain and a scourge on this country.

ModerateSC wrote: Entrance to this country is a privledge, not a right. We who live here set the rules. If people will not enter this country by the rules, do they respect us? No, the fluant our rules in our face and claim they have 'rights'. The simple fact of entering this country illegally should strip them of all but the most basic right, which is to have a paid tripped back to their home. I welcome all LEGAL immigrants to this wonderful country.

JinPhx wrote: This Az law is as close to RACIAL PROFILING as you have seen in this democratic country of ours. If your a tax-paying LEGAL hispanic and are stopped because you look like a hispanic illegal, your are burdened with having to prove you are legal with all the scrutiny and embarressment that comes with it. California, courtesy of Arizona, this law may be headed to you next.

There are nearly a hundred comments and while we can't list them all, you can read more of what readers had to say here.

We want to hear from you. What does this new law mean for California? Should California pass a similar law to crack down on illegal immigration? Would you support it?


Calls to boycott Arizona multiply on social media

by Betty Beard and Dawn Gilbertson - Apr. 27, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Calls for boycotting Arizona and its businesses because of its new anti-illegal-immigration law have begun spreading virally, showing Arizona what it's like to be unpopular in a social-media era in which protesters can organize at the drop of a tweet.

A convention for immigration attorneys, scheduled for the Camelback Inn this fall, already has been canceled, and the state's business community has begun fighting back, urging groups and individuals not to boycott the state.

They hope outsiders will see the new law not as something that casts Arizona as being unwelcoming to Hispanics but as a call to the federal government to enact immigration reform.

The Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association on Monday set up its own Facebook page, "Don't Boycott AZ Tourism." The tagline: "Don't punish 200,000 tourism employees for politics."

But calls to boycott Arizona businesses, convention and meeting sites, the Grand Canyon and even the Arizona Diamondbacks and other baseball teams that train in the state have been gaining momentum since Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law on Friday.

The law makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally and requires police and other law-enforcement agents to check documents of people they reasonably suspect to be illegal. Critics say the law can lead to racial profiling, although the governor said the law-enforcement community will be trained to avoid that.

The nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper has called for a boycott, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected today to consider a resolution calling for an end to any business the city has with Arizona or any Arizona-based businesses.

Some business groups fear Arizona could suffer deeper consequences. Hispanics could be discouraged from participating in the census, depriving the state of federal revenue. And several economists also say that the new law, combined with the 2008 employer-sanctions law, could make it harder to attract workers once the economy rebounds.

Calls for boycotts

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos and City Attorney Dennis Herrera have called on city officials to adopt a boycott and not do any business with Arizona or any businesses based in Arizona. If the resolution passes, Herrera will examine the law to see if the city can legally terminate any existing contracts with Arizona-based companies.

La Opinion, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country, on Saturday called for an economic boycott. Henrik Rehbinder, editor of the editorial pages for the Los Angeles-based publication, said the boycott is intended to send a signal to Brewer and other political leaders

"A law that encourages racial profiling and makes discrimination possible should not be tolerated," Rehbinder said.He said Californians also may be impacted by the law.

"We have a lot of Californians who travel to Arizona to visit relatives," he said. "Will they have to carry passports?"

On Facebook, there are more than 10 pages dedicated to boycotting Arizona, with two attracting thousands of supporters. They are Boycott Arizona and Boycott Arizona 2010.

A Facebook poster from Chicago urged fans to write to baseball teams who do their spring training in Arizona to let them know they won't be attending Cactus League games.

A woman from Boston said she and her "mixed-race" family will keep the Grand Canyon off their radar for the time being.

Tourism and sports

Those close to the state's tourism industry worry that it could suffer the brunt of a backlash from the new law.

"I think it will be really easy for someone to pass us over on a convention decision now," said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, which has been trying to promote Arizona as a good place to do business.

Tourism and convention officials say that, to date, they are aware of just one cancellation: by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. It faces a $92,000 cancellation penalty.

Kristen Jarnagin, spokeswoman for the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association, said it created the "Don't Boycott AZ Tourism" page not to make a statement about the immigration law itself. "We're just trying to let people know the difference in who you're really harming if you boycott Arizona."

David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, said he is concerned about the possibility of boycotts. "If we see major losses in terms of conventions and other activities, it certainly could cause a very difficult economic condition for us at a time when we cannot afford to have anymore losses to this economy," he said.

Decades after Arizona's waiting to adopt a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday cost it a Super Bowl, the Diamondbacks are hoping the law doesn't cost them next year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

"I'm concerned because we worked so hard to get it," said Derrick Hall, Diamondbacks president and CEO. "We'd hate to see it go away if too much pressure is put on MLB, but the planning is well into motion, and I think it would be difficult to back off at this point for 2011."

Hall said he hasn't heard anything from league officials to lead him to believe the game will be moved.

Other effects

Aside from possibly hurting the state's census count and tourism, economists and immigration experts say that without federal immigration reform and better guest-worker programs, the state could be hurt when the economy rebounds and it needs more workers, especially in its construction and tourism industries.

Officials still don't know if the 2008 employer-sanctions law that makes it a crime to knowingly hire undocumented workers has discouraged Hispanics from coming to the state. The recession wiped out almost 300,000 jobs since December 2007.

Judith Gans, manager of the Immigration Policy Program at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona, said studies have shown that some key sectors of the Arizona economy have relied significantly on low-skilled, non-citizen workers who often are not documented. By discouraging those workers, with both the state's 2008 employer-sanctions law and the latest anti-immigration law, the costs of labor could rise. That would hurt business owners but help citizens who are competing for those construction and hospitality jobs, Gans said.

Spencer Kamps, vice president of legislative affairs for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, said the industry has understood for some time that it's illegal to hire undocumented workers.

"It was illegal five years ago before employer sanctions passed, and it's illegal today," he said.

Broome, of GPEC, said the group is mostly disappointed at the federal government's failure to take action on immigration reform and forestall a state law like this. "You can criticize the policy and the policymakers for enacting it, but no one can deny the fact that this policy has an incredible groundswell of support in the state," he said.

But he also said it will overshadow the progress that Arizona has been making in attracting renewable-energy and health-care businesses. GPEC just led a delegation to Washington, D.C., to tell national officials and media the good things Arizona has been doing.

"In the meantime, this (the new law) is going to define us," he said. "And this is not how we want Arizona to be defined."

Republic reporters Daniel Gonzalez and Nick Piecoro contributed to this article.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is being a hypocrite on this issue. In the past he has supported running Mexicans and anybody else with brown skin out of Phoenix. Now he pretends to care about unconstitutional and illegal laws that will chase Mexicans out of Phoenix.


Phoenix councilors say they don't back Mayor Gordon on his plan to sue

by Scott Wong - Apr. 27, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Most Phoenix City Council members said Monday they will not support a plan by Mayor Phil Gordon to file a lawsuit against the state seeking to block the new law that targets illegal immigration.

Gordon, a Democrat, has called the legislation "unconstitutional," saying it will lead to racial profiling. He intends to put the proposal to a vote at a council meeting set for 2 p.m. today, said his chief of staff, Debra Stark.

But the council's five Republicans - Sal DiCiccio, Bill Gates, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely and Thelda Williams - told The Arizona Republic they won't back a legal challenge to the law, which they say deals with immigration problems long ignored by Washington.

They also said it is fiscally irresponsible for Arizona's largest city to launch a taxpayer-funded suit when other entities, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, are contemplating litigation.

"The last thing we should be doing is spending money on this lawsuit when we have so many pressing needs in this city," Gates said. "We know there will be other entities bringing lawsuits - ACLU, MALDEF - we know that will happen."

Williams said the state had to toughen its illegal-immigration policies because of inaction by the federal government .

"I don't think people in Phoenix, people in Arizona need to be subjected anymore to the crime and drugs pouring across the border," said Williams, who formerly worked for immigration-hardliner Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Today, Gordon will ask the nine-member council to direct the city attorney to prepare a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect.

For days, the mayor has refused to speak to The Republic's City Hall reporter, but he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday that he personally would sue the state if he could not corral the five necessary votes.

Gordon added that he's troubled by recent calls for economic boycotts of Arizona. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution banning the city from doing any business in Arizona-based firms or the state.

His CNN appearance was part of a days-long media blitz to drum up opposition to the law and support for potential litigation. Since Senate Bill 1070 was signed by GOP Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday, Gordon has given interviews to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, ABC's "Good Morning America Weekend" and CBS News.

The law "unconstitutionally co-opts our police force to enforce immigration laws that are the rightful jurisdiction of the federal government," Gordon wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

The law makes it a state crime for a person to be in Arizona illegally and requires police officers to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person if there is suspicion that person is in the country illegally.


Furor grows over Arizona's illegal immigration law

Posted 4/26/2010 11:08 PM ET

By Jonathan J. Cooper, Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX — The furor over Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants grew Monday as opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol, civil rights leaders demanded a boycott of the state, and the Obama administration weighed a possible legal challenge.

Activists are planning a challenge of their own, hoping to block the law from taking effect by arguing that it encroaches on the federal government's authority to regulate immigration and violates people's constitutional rights by giving police too much power.

The measure -- set to take effect in late July or early August -- would make it a crime under state law to be in the U.S. illegally. It directs state and local police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.

"If you look or sound foreign, you are going to be subjected to never-ending requests for police to confirm your identity and to confirm your citizenship," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which is exploring legal action.

Employees at the Capitol came to work Monday to find that vandals had smeared swastikas on the windows. And protesters gathered for an eighth straight day to speak out against a law they say will lead to rampant racial profiling of anyone who looks Hispanic.

The White House would not rule out the possibility that the administration would take legal action against Arizona. President Barack Obama, who warned last week that the measure could lead to police abuses, asked the Justice Department to complete a review of the law's implications before deciding how to proceed.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the law is discriminatory and warned that trade and political ties with Arizona will be seriously strained by the crackdown.

Currently, many U.S. police departments do not ask about people's immigration status unless they have run afoul of the law in some other way. Many departments say stopping and questioning people will only discourage immigrants from cooperating to solve crimes.

Under the new Arizona law, immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. That is a significant escalation of the typical federal punishment for being here illegally -- deportation.

People arrested by Arizona police would be turned over to federal immigration officers. Opponents said the federal government could thwart the law by refusing to accept them.

Supporters of the law said it is necessary to protect Arizonans from crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Arizona is home to an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants and is the nation's busiest gateway for people slipping into the country.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill on Friday, said Arizona must act because Washington has failed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico. Brewer has ordered state officials to develop a training course for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is in the U.S. illegally.

The crux of opponents' arguments is that only the federal government has the authority to regulate immigration.

"If every state had its own laws, we wouldn't be one country; we'd be 50 different countries," said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Kevin Johnson, dean of the law school at the University of California-Davis and an immigration law professor, said such a lawsuit would have a very good chance of success. He said the state law gets into legal trouble by giving local law enforcement officers the authority to enforce immigration laws.

"States can't give them that power," Johnson said. "The federal government could if it wanted to, but it hasn't."

However, Gerald Neuman, a Harvard Law School professor, said Arizona could make a compelling legal argument that it has overlapping authority to protect its residents.

Johnson said opponents could also argue that the law could violate their Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure because it gives police officers broad authority to determine who should be questioned.

Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who helped write the Arizona legislation, said he anticipated legal challenges and carefully drafted the language. He said the state law is only prohibiting conduct already illegal under federal law.

In a statement Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the state's new law would probably hinder law enforcement in dealing with more serious crimes. Napolitano vetoed similar proposals when she was Arizona governor.

"They would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve," she said.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera urged policymakers in the city to stop dealing with Arizona and Arizona businesses. Leaders in Mexico and California also demanded a boycott, as did civil rights leader Al Sharpton.

The law has strong public support in Arizona, where passions have been running high since a rancher was killed close to the Mexican border last month, apparently by drug smugglers from across the border.


Associated Press Writers Eileen Sullivan and Darlene Superville in Washington, Julianna Barbassa in San Francisco and Paul Davenport in Phoenix contributed to this report.


Apr 26, 2:59 PM EDT

Mexican president: Arizona law discriminatory

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon says Arizona's new immigration law is discriminatory and warns relations with the U.S. border state will suffer.

Calderon says the law "opens the door to unacceptable racial discrimination."

The Arizona bill will make it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant in the state and requires police to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they are there illegally.

Calderon says trade and political ties with Arizona will be "seriously affected," although he announced no concrete measures.

Mexican lawmakers, church leaders and others have criticized Calderon for not taking a tough enough stance against the bill. Mexican lawmakers have urged a trade boycott against Arizona.


Conflict over state immigration law heats up

Jonathan Cooper, The Associated Press

April 26, 2010 - 9:29AM , updated: April 26, 2010

The Associated Press

The conflict over a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration in Arizona intensified Monday as vandals smeared refried beans in the shape of swastikas on the state Capitol's windows.

More protests were planned Monday after thousands gathered this weekend to demonstrate against a bill that will make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant in Arizona.

Opponents say the law will lead to rampant racial profiling and turn Arizona into a police state with provisions that require police to question people about their immigrant status if they suspect they are here illegally. Day laborers can be arrested for soliciting work if they are in the U.S. illegally, and police departments can be sued if they don't carry out the law.

But supporters of the law, set to take effect in late July or August, say it is necessary to protect Arizonans from a litany of crimes committed by illegal immigrants. Arizona is home to an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill on Friday, argues Arizona must act because the federal government has failed to stop the steady stream of illegal immigrants and drugs that move through Arizona from Mexico.

The fallout over the dispute spread across the border Monday as Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the law is discriminatory and warned relations with the U.S. border state will suffer. Calderon says trade and political ties with Arizona will be "seriously affected," although he announced no concrete measures.

The law has revved up the national debate, drawing the attention of the Obama administration and Congress. Obama has called the new law "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal.

The new law makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500.

Arizona officers would arrest people found to be undocumented and turn them over to federal immigration officers. Opponents said the federal government can block the law by refusing to accept them.

Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva asked the federal government not to cooperate when illegal immigrants are picked up by local police.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, the Republican who sponsored the legislation, said it's "pretty disappointing" that opponents would call on the federal government to refuse to cooperate with Arizona authorities.

"It's outrageous that these people continue to support law breakers over law keepers," Pearce said Sunday.

Grijalva and civil rights activists promised to march in the streets and invite arrest by refusing to comply with the law. Police said the protests Sunday were peaceful and there were no clashes.

"We're going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we're going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist law," Grijalva said.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., called on Obama to live up to a campaign promise to pass immigration reform. Gutierrez is one of the nation's loudest voices calling for comprehensive immigration reform that would create a pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants now in the United States.

"Our message today is: 'Mr. President we listened, and we came out in record massive numbers to support you,'" he said. "We need you to support us today."

The law has drawn support from many in Arizona who are fed up with the many problems brought on by illegal immigration.

"If I go to another foreign country, if I go to Mexico, I have to have papers," said Bill Baker, 60, who took time off work at a downtown Phoenix restaurant to sell umbrellas and Mexican and American flags to the largely Hispanic crowd of protesters. "So I don't feel there's anything particularly harsh about the law."

Supporters have dismissed concerns about profiling, saying the law prohibits the use of race or nationality as the sole basis for an immigration check. Brewer has ordered state officials to develop a training course for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion that someone is in the U.S. illegally.

Current law in Arizona and most states doesn't require police to ask about the immigration status of those they encounter, and many police departments prohibit officers from inquiring out of fear immigrants won't cooperate in other investigations.

The March 27 shooting death of rancher Rob Krentz on his property in southeastern Arizona brought illegal immigration and border security into greater focus in the state. Authorities believe Krentz was killed by an illegal border crosser.


Arizona immigration law: Mexico issues travel alert

Apr. 27, 2010 02:03 PM

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.

And a government-affiliated agency that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Phoenix-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations rebuke the law.

"We are making a strong call to the Arizona government to retract this regressive and racist law that's impacting not only residents of Arizona, but people in all 50 states and in Mexico as well," said Raul Murillo, who works with the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, an autonomous agency of Mexico's Foreign Ministry.

US Airways spokesman Jim Olson said that "we have had absolutely no customers who have canceled fights" as a result of the controversy. Calls to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns were not immediately returned.

The boycott demand came hours after the Foreign Ministry issued its travel alert for Arizona, warning "that any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment."

The law's passage shows "an adverse political atmosphere for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors," the alert said.

Arizona's law — slated to take effect in late July or early August — makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally. Lawmakers said the legislation, which has sparked huge protests and litigation, was needed because the Obama administration is failing to enforce existing federal laws.

Mexico's alert says that once the law takes effect, foreigners can be detained if they fail to carry immigration documents. And it warns that the law will make it illegal to hire or be hired from a vehicle stopped on the street.

Each day more than 65,000 Mexican residents are in Arizona to work, visit friends and relatives and shop, according to a University of Arizona study sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism. While there, the Mexican visitors spend more than $7.35 million daily in Arizona's stores, restaurants, hotels and other businesses, the researchers found.

Bimbo Bakeries, one of many Mexican companies operating in Arizona, said Tuesday that it doesn't expect Arizona's new immigration law to affect its employees.

"We carefully screen all associates to ensure they are authorized to work in the United States," Bimbo spokesman David Margulies said.

At the Mexico City airport Tuesday, Mexicans heading for the U.S. said they were very troubled by the new law.

"It's humiliating," said Modesto Perez, who lives in Illinois. "It's really ugly."


Obama administration considers challenges to Arizona immigration law

Federal attorneys are examining legal options to prevent the strict new rules from taking effect this summer. By Richard A. Serrano and Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau

April 29, 2010 | 4:43 p.m.

Reporting from Washington

A team of top government lawyers has quietly begun studying legal strategies for the Obama administration to mount a challenge to Arizona's new illegal immigration law, including the filing of a federal lawsuit against the state or joining a suit brought by others who believe the bill unfairly targets Latinos.

President Obama and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. have denounced the law, leading to expectations that the administration will take action soon. Obama said Wednesday that the law, which allows police to demand proof of citizenship, threatens the "core values that we all care about."

Attorneys from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security are examining legal options and hope to make suggestions by mid-May, before the Arizona law takes effect sometime in midsummer, officials said.

As lawyers weigh the legal options, the White House voiced concern that other states may adopt laws like Arizona's, adding urgency to the process. A Utah lawmaker already has proposed such a measure there.

Grounds for a possible U.S. challenge could include charges that the Arizona measure unlawfully preempts the federal government's role in securing the country's borders, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the issue. Or federal officials could file a civil rights challenge asserting that the law encourages racial profiling.

"There are multiple options that the administration has," Omar Jadwat, a staff counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Rights Project, said Thursday. "They can and should pursue every option within their authority."

The legal deliberations come as the Obama administration and congressional Democrats hash out plans to overhaul federal immigration laws. Democrats on Thursday outlined their own approach, proposing that benchmarks for securing borders be followed by steps to allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States.

The administration believes that a court challenge in Arizona would send a message that Arizona should reverse course, and that other states should not follow Arizona's lead.

"In the absence of some sort of coherent national policy, there's always going to be an impetus for this kind of thing — particularly in states that are border states or near the border where there's been a great deal of activity," White House senior advisor David Axelrod said in an interview.

Asked whether the White House was considering steps to head off similar state legislation, Axelrod said: "The best thing we can do is to develop and enforce a rational, thoughtful, consistent immigration policy that holds everybody accountable in the system. And that's what we're working toward."

Yet Obama expressed pessimism over prospects for passing a sweeping immigration overhaul this year. Speaking Wednesday to reporters on Air Force One, the president conceded that Congress may not have the "appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue."

Still, Senate Democrats are eager to show they have not dropped the matter. Under pressure from Latino advocates, they held a news conference Thursday to outline a new blueprint for an immigration overhaul, combining border security with steps to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S.

But substantial obstacles remain, chiefly the absence of Republican support. A Democratic Senate aide said the new plan would dare Republicans to opt out, likely upsetting Latino voters before the midterm election in November.

The popularity of the Arizona law among many state residents there has prompted other states to consider similar legislation.

In Utah, state Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, a two-term Republican up for reelection this year, is pushing a bill that mirrors the Arizona legislation. He says his state needs to get tough because whenever Arizona attempts to restrict immigration, illegal immigrants simply move to Utah.

"We are becoming a kind of sanctuary state," he said.

Sandstrom also wants to eliminate a program in Utah that allows anyone without proper papers to obtain a driving privilege card, which they often use to start bank accounts and secure loans. "It gives them the mechanism to operate openly in the state of Utah. We certainly have to change that," he said.

Sandstrom added that a recent investigation by Utah's attorney general found that the Social Security numbers of 50,000 local children had been stolen, with many turned over to undocumented workers. And he said Utah was paying about $100 million a year to educate the children of illegal immigrants.

With Utah a conservative state and Republicans having solid majorities in the state House, he expects to start holding hearings this summer. "There is overwhelming support for this right now," Sandstrom said. "Why? Because the word is out that Utah is a state that is pretty soft on illegal immigration."

In Arizona on Thursday, two lawsuits were filed challenging the legality of the new bill.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders filed suit in federal court in Phoenix, saying the measure usurps federal enforcement responsibilities. They also contended that it amounts to racial profiling. The second suit was filed in Tucson, where a local police officer asked the federal court to keep the law from going into effect.

Republican officials, including Gov. Jan Brewer, said that support for the new law was running high, and that proponents were pushing for a statewide referendum in November to express their support for the measure.


Arizona immigration law: Tougher restrictions sought

by Mary Jo Pitzl - Apr. 29, 2010 04:08 PM

The Arizona Republic

A conference committee of legislative Republicans and Democrats has approved several changes to Arizona's new immigration law.

The changes still need final approval from both the House and the Senate before being passed along to the governor.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, the lone Democrat that showed up for the committee, opposed the changes – and the new law as a whole. Sen. Manuel Alvarez, D-Elfrida, the other Democrat assigned to the six-member committee, was not in attendance.

Sinema said the revised version is even worse than what became law because it now requires a representative of a city, county or the state to determine immigration status in cases where they are responding to violations of city or county ordinance, such as a barking dog or tall weeds in the yard.

Sinema called the change "frightening."

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said it would be a double standard if a law-enforcement officer responding to a civil violation ignored reasonable suspicion of a possible immigration crime violation.

Here are some of the proposed changes to the law:

• Eliminate the word "solely" from the sentence "A law enforcement official or agency… may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution."

• Restates the "lawful contact" portion of the bill. It now states that "For any lawful STOP, DETENTION OR ARREST made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OTHER LAW OR ORDINANCE OF A COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN OR THIS STATE where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien AND is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."

• Adds the clause that "In the implementation of this section, an alien's immigration status may be determined by a law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status …" or ICE.

• Eliminates the law's escalation from a misdemeanor to a felony in certain cases, as well as the $500 fine. Now states that the maximum fine is $100 and no more than 20 days in jail for a first violation and no more than 30 days in jail for a subsequent violation.

Read more: Article


Arizona immigration law: Tougher restrictions sought

by Mary Jo Pitzl - Apr. 29, 2010 04:08 PM

The Arizona Republic

A conference committee of legislative Republicans and Democrats has approved several changes to Arizona's new immigration law.

The changes still need final approval from both the House and the Senate before being passed along to the governor.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, the lone Democrat that showed up for the committee, opposed the changes – and the new law as a whole. Sen. Manuel Alvarez, D-Elfrida, the other Democrat assigned to the six-member committee, was not in attendance.

Sinema said the revised version is even worse than what became law because it now requires a representative of a city, county or the state to determine immigration status in cases where they are responding to violations of city or county ordinance, such as a barking dog or tall weeds in the yard.

Sinema called the change "frightening."

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said it would be a double standard if a law-enforcement officer responding to a civil violation ignored reasonable suspicion of a possible immigration crime violation.

Here are some of the proposed changes to the law:

• Eliminate the word "solely" from the sentence "A law enforcement official or agency… may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution."

• Restates the "lawful contact" portion of the bill. It now states that "For any lawful STOP, DETENTION OR ARREST made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state IN THE ENFORCEMENT OF ANY OTHER LAW OR ORDINANCE OF A COUNTY, CITY OR TOWN OR THIS STATE where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien AND is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation."

• Adds the clause that "In the implementation of this section, an alien's immigration status may be determined by a law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status …" or ICE.

• Eliminates the law's escalation from a misdemeanor to a felony in certain cases, as well as the $500 fine. Now states that the maximum fine is $100 and no more than 20 days in jail for a first violation and no more than 30 days in jail for a subsequent violation.

Read more: Article


Shakira condemns Arizona's immigration law

by Scott Wong and Lily Leung - Apr. 29, 2010 07:07 PM

The Arizona Republic

Latina pop star Shakira condemned Arizona's new law targeting illegal immigration, saying it promotes discrimination and robs Latinos of human dignity.

Visiting Phoenix City Hall on Thursday, the Colombian-born entertainer told more than 100 members of the media: "I'm in opposition to this law because it is a violation of human and civil rights. It goes against all human dignity, against the principles of most Americans I know.

"As a person and Latina who believes in equal opportunities and who believes that this country has values that I have always admired and defended," she added, "I'm worried about the impact that implementation of this law will have on hard working Latinos."

Shakira was joined by Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and local Hispanic leaders.

"I'm not an expert on the Constitution but I know the constitution exists for a reason," she said. "It exists to protect human beings, to protect the rights of people living in a nation, with or without documents. We're talking about human beings here."

The singer and dancer, sporting stiletto boots, diamond earrings, a wifebeater tank top and black zippered jacket, later visited CPLC Carl Hayden Youth Community Center.

Before a City Hall news conference, Shakira met privately with Gordon, Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski, Police Chief Jack Harris and other city officials to raise concerns about the law. She argued that Hispanic immigrants have generated economic growth for decades in this country.

"Let's not foster division but unity. Let's not foster chaos but safety," Shakira said. "This law goes against all the principles of prosperity that we know and promotes discrimination and resentment."

Gordon said he had created a fund called Arizonans for Common Sense to raise private money for a lawsuit he intends to bring on behalf of the city to block the law from taking effect.

The law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, and requires police officers to question individuals about their immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally.

A crowd of about 150 lined the sidewalks and pressed against the wrought iron fence surrounding the Carl Hayden Community Center in Phoenix trying to get a glimpse of the singer. They cheered and chanted her name when she arrived with a police escort in a gray Chevrolet Tahoe.

People cheered wildly when she walked over to the fence and began shaking hands, greeting people, and signing autographs. Some people were standing on cars to see into the throng surrounding her. At one point, a man on the second-story balcony of an apartment a half-block away strained to catch a peek. Some held anti-1070 signs such as "SB1070 Unconstitutional."

It was packed inside the center, too, where about 20 people waited in metal folding chairs for a chance to talk with her – after the media swarm could be pried back far enough for everyone to see.

Shakira arrived at the center to speak against the new legislation. But she also went to the resource center to listen.

The Colombian-born musician gave the stage to immigrant women and students to share the potential impact the new law would have on their lives.

Erika, who declined to give her last name, did things right, she said. The 22-year-old got the grades and graduated from high school. But without a Social Security number, she couldn't qualify for loans and couldn't afford college.

"I have a diploma," she said, crying. "But I can't use it."

With the new law, she envisions living in fear — fear she'll be detained.

"It's not just," she said. "I'm not a criminal."

Shakira said she, with the help of Mayor Phil Gordon, would do everything to oppose the immigration law. She also aims to dispel the misconception that Latinos are a drain to the American economy.

"Immigrants forged this country," she said. "They came to this country wanting to work hard. They work long hours."

Victor Gonzalez of El Mirage was one of the people invited to meet and speak to Shakira. He said afterwards that her appearance in the state but may not meet the expectations some have had. "We're not going to solve all of our problems in one day," he said.

He predicts 1070 would be overturned by the courts.

"It's not going to happen," he said. "I'm sure the guys who wrote the Constitution would be laughing if they were here today."

Arturo Ortiz of Phoenix waited outside the fence until the singer left, taking photos with a friend. He said it was important that Shakira made the appearance.

"She's here to represent us," he said. "We needed a voice. Hopefully, people will take notice."

The Carl Hayden center, part of Chicanos Por La Causa, offers education and recreation programs for youths, including tutoring, help with homework, games and a computer lab.

Roberto Valadez, 21, of Phoenix, held T-shirts, photos and a CD, all of which he hoped to get autographed. He said he supported what Shakira was doing socially and "we're still here to support her."

George Luna, 32, of Phoenix, said he went "because I'm supporting what she's doing for us. It will have an effect, because she is a very important woman. The new law affects everyone, not just Hispanics."

Sandra Tovar, 35, of Phoenix, runs a furniture store, said she feels SB 1070 is "trying to scare the Hispanic community away."

In Tovar's case, it is having an effect: she plans to close her business and move to Texas with her three teenagers because of the law.

"If they pass the same thing there, we'll move from there," Tovar said.

The Latina pop star, flanked by local elected officials, later told supporters at the Arizona Capitol that the legislation essentially criminalizes people for the color of their skin.

She said immigration status should not dictate the quality of treatment someone receives from law enforcement and the government.

"It's not just unconstitutional," said Shakira inside a Radio Campesina van. "It's a violation of civil rights."

She said if the law were in effect right now, she would be arrested for not carrying her driver's license."Are you going to arrest me, Sheriff Arpaio, because I didn't bring my papers?" said Shakira, whose statement was followed by cheers.

After the speech, supporters expressed their gratitude for her message, chanting "Si, se puede," meaning "Yes, we can" in Spanish.

Read more: Article


UA president: Immigration law affecting enrollment

Apr. 29, 2010 04:25 PM

Associated Press

TUCSON - The backlash against the state's tough new crackdown on illegal immigration apparently is beginning to affect enrollment at the University of Arizona.

In a campus-wide e-mail sent out Thursday, UofA president Robert Shelton says the families of a number of out-of-state honor students have notified the Tucson school that they'll now be enrolling their children elsewhere.

Shelton says large numbers of UofA students, faculty, staff and appointed professionals have expressed concerns that they or members of their families or their friends may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police.

Shelton describes those fears and concerns as something that "no one should have to harbor." But at the same time, Shelton indicated that the university doesn't plan to defy the new immigration law.

Read more: Article


Arizona's new immigration law becomes an issue in Major League Baseball

By Kevin Baxter

April 29, 2010 | 8:38 p.m.

Anger over Arizona's new immigration law spread to baseball Thursday with a congressman's call to pull next year's All-Star game out of the state and a protest outside Wrigley Field in Chicago, where the Arizona Diamondbacks were playing the Cubs.

Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.) said baseball "should not pass up the opportunity" to oppose legislation critics believe will lead to racial profiling and other civil-rights violations.

"Baseball and the Latin community, it's a close relationship," Serrano said in a telephone interview. "Latinos, they will be the ones, more than anyone else, who will be stopped on the street in violation of their constitutional rights.

"This is such a mean thing to do that people who make those decisions, states who make those decisions, need to know that there are consequences to those decisions."

The law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last week, makes it a state crime to be in Arizona illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork. The state is home to an estimated 460,000 undocumented immigrants.

The legislation, which also bars people from soliciting work or hiring day laborers off the street, is scheduled to go into effect 90 days after Arizona's current legislative session ends, probably next month.

A spokesman for Major League Baseball, which awarded the 2011 All-Star game to Phoenix a year ago, said Commissioner Bud Selig would not comment on the issue.

Pulling baseball's annual showcase out of Phoenix could cost the state more than $40 million, a baseball spokesman estimated. Arizona lost out on playing host to another treasured sporting event when the NFL pulled the 1993 Super Bowl away from Tempe after the state rescinded the federal holiday commemorating the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. Since voters reinstated the holiday, two Super Bowls have been played in Arizona.

Serrano said issues such as immigration and racial profiling should be important to baseball because 27% of the players on opening-day rosters were born outside the U.S.

"These are the folks that would be walking down the streets and have their rights violated," he said. "Baseball is so much a part of that family that is being attacked by this new law that baseball should make a statement about it."

Serrano said he may reach out to club owners and even eventually ask players to boycott the All-Star game if the law is implemented and the game remains in Phoenix.

Meanwhile, a coalition of immigrant-rights groups in Arizona called for protests and boycotts wherever the Diamondbacks play. The first rally took place before Thursday afternoon's game at Wrigley Field, where one fan ripped up his ticket rather than watch the game.

"With this being right in our backyard, it's hard not to go out and say something when the bill is so egregious," said Fiona McEntee, a Chicago-based immigration lawyer who attended the protest.

Organizers of the boycott, who have received promises of support from organizers in five states the Diamondbacks will visit this season, say they targeted the team for its visibility and because owner Ken Kendrick is a major financial backer of Republican politicians who promoted the bill.

"For the Kendrick family to support people who are engaged in this kind of repression against a segment of the population without actually supporting other efforts, that's why they're a target," said Tony Herrera of Unidos en Arizona.

The Diamondbacks issued a statement acknowledging Kendrick's support of Republican candidates in the past but noting his personal opposition to the new law.

Herrera said the coalition is not contemplating actions against any of the other 14 teams that have spring training or player-development facilities in Arizona, a group that includes both the Angels and Dodgers. Spring training, the six-team Arizona Fall League and the 12-team Arizona League combine for an estimated half-billion dollars in economic activity.

Through a team spokesman, Angels owner Arte Moreno, an Arizona native and the first Latino to own a major sports franchise in the U.S., declined to comment. But some players and coaches did speak out.

"I don't know about boycotting the All-Star game, but that's not a cool law if that's the case," Cubs slugger Derrek Lee said.

Asked what players should do, he said: "We can express our disagreement. That's not right. It's surprising that it's that blatant."

Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen, who was born in Venezuela and became a U.S. citizen in 2006, said the law showed "no respect of human rights."

"The immigration [service] has to be careful about how they treat people," he added. "I want to see one day with Latin Americans — it can be Mexican, Costa Rican — I want to see this country two days without them to see how good we're doing. . . . They just come here to make things happen, to make a better life. I guarantee you whoever comes to this country and they don't have their papers, they're straight and narrow. They're scared to be deported."

Oakland Athletics reliever Brad Ziegler, who admitted he knew little about the new law, questioned whether a ballgame was the proper venue to address the issue.

"Do people really think that boycotting baseball games in Arizona is going to eventually lead to removal of the new immigration law?" he wrote in a series of entries on "The players get punished, having to play in an empty stadium, for something that we have nothing to do with.

"You can make your opinions known in lots of ways, but ultimately boycotting games affects the players more than the owners."

Paul Sullivan and Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

Hmmmm arn't the Democrats the ones calling the Republicans who the passed Arizona anti-Mexican law a bunch of racists? The same Democrats who are passing racist, unconstitutional, police state laws like this!


National ID Card Included In Democratic Immigration Bill

Ryan Grim Ryan Grim – Fri Apr 30, 12:17 pm ET

Democrats pushed forward on an immigration overhaul on Thursday evening with no Republican support, as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) continues to hold out, arguing that the divisive issue will make progress on climate change legislation impossible.

The Senate is also in the middle of debating Wall Street reform, which is expected to take up the next few weeks of floor time. Reid, however, said that the chamber would be able to handle the task. "We can do more than one thing at once," he said.

The Democratic proposal includes increased money for border patrol and drug war agents, equipment, helicopters and unmanned drones. It would create a national ID -- which is dubbed a "biometric social security card." Though Democrats insist that it is not an ID card and can only be used for employment purposes.

The proposal would also include a crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers. It works to deport some immigrants who are not in the country legally and creates a limited pathway to citizenship for others.

Democrats brought out their heavy hitters for the announcement: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who's been leading the push for immigration reform; Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.); Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

The crackdown on employers relies on the creation of national identity cards. "These cards will be fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer," reads the bill summary.

Broadly, the proposal includes:

1. More Border Patrol officers

2. More Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, worksite inspectors, document fraud investigators and drug-war agents

3. The "installation of high-tech ground sensors throughout the southern border and for equipping all border patrol officers with the technological capability to respond to activation of the ground sensors in the area they are patrolling."

4. More prosecution of drug smuggling, human trafficking and unauthorized border crossing

5. "[I]ncreases in the number of sport utility vehicles, helicopters, power boats, river boats, portable computers to track illegal immigrants and drug smugglers while inside of a border patrol vehicle, night vision equipment, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS), scope trucks, and Mobile Surveillance Systems (MSS)."

6. All prisoners will be checked for immigration status and deported if found to lack documentation.

7. DHS will "identify, investigate, and initiate removal proceedings" against folks who came here legally but didn't leave.

8. The bill would create "a broad-based registration program that requires all illegal immigrants living in the U.S. to come forward to register, be screened, and, if eligible, complete other requirements to earn legal status, including paying taxes."

The full summary can be read here. ( Article )

The bill would make it illegal for anyone other than an employer to ask to see the enhanced social security card: "Possession of a fraud-proof social security card will only serve as evidence of lawful work-authorization but will in no way be permitted to serve--or shall be required to be shown--as proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status. It will be unlawful for any person, corporation; organization local, state, or federal law enforcement officer; local or state government; or any other entity to require or even ask an individual cardholder to produce their social security card for any purpose other than electronic verification of employment eligibility and verification of identity for Social Security Administration purposes. No personal information will be stored on the electronic chip contained within the social security card other than the individual's name, date of birth, social security number, and unique biometric identifier."

Arizona goverment is making Hitler proud!


Activists hope Ariz. law opposition boosts rallies

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer Sophia Tareen, Associated Press Writer

CHICAGO – Immigrant rights activists hope Arizona's controversial immigration law will spark scores of people to protest in rallies nationwide and add urgency to pleas for federal immigration reform.

Dozens of marches are planned for Saturday in cities across the country from Los Angeles to Dallas to New York.

"What happened in Arizona proves that racism and anti-immigrant hysteria across the country still exists. We need to continue to fight," said Lee Siu Hin, a coordinator with the Washington, D.C.-based National Immigrant Solidarity Network.

Activists believe opposition to Arizona's new law — which requires authorities to question people about immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally — could be the catalyst needed to draw record-breaking crowds similar to those four years ago.

That's when more than a million people across the country united to fight federal legislation considered anti-immigrant. Though the bill, which would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony, was unsuccessful, it triggered massive marches across the nation.

Since then, the movement has fractured and attendance has dropped sharply as attempts to reform federal immigration policy fizzled. In 2006, nearly half a million people took to Chicago's streets. Last year, fewer than 15,000 participated in the rallies, held annually on May 1 because it's a traditional day of protest and International Workers Day.

But after the Arizona law was signed into law last week, immigration reform advocates have seen a flurry of activity.

Relying on online social networking, churches and ethnic media to mobilize, activists have called for a boycott of Arizona businesses and protested outside Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games. Earlier in the week, two dozen activists chanting "Illinois is not Arizona" were arrested for blocking traffic outside an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in suburban Chicago.

While supporters say the law is necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the border and growing anxiety over crime related to illegal immigration, critics say it's unconstitutional and encourages racial profiling and discrimination against immigrants or anyone thought to be an immigrant.

Activists fear that without federal legislation in place to address the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., other states will follow Arizona's lead and pass similar legislation.

"If Republicans and Democrats do not take care of this albatross around our necks, this will in fact be the undoing of many, many years of civil rights struggle in this country," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, where a downtown march is planned on Saturday. "I'm hoping that there is enough fire in people's hearts and minds to urge them to be mobilized."

But chances the federal government will step in this year seemed slim.

President Barack Obama, who had once promised to tackle immigration reform in his first 100 days but has pushed back that timetable several times, said this week that Congress may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration after going through a tough legislative year.

Meanwhile, activists say problems with a broken immigration system continue to affect millions — raids on workplaces create mistrust of authorities and separate families with mixed immigration status, employers take advantage of immigrant labor and thousands of college students are left in limbo.

That includes 19-year-old Patricio Gonzalez, who immigrated to the U.S. from Argentina at age five with his family on a tourist visa. It expired and his family wasn't able to gain legal status.

The Memphis teen said he had to drop out of college last fall because he wasn't eligible for most student aid and couldn't afford tuition.

"Do you know how difficult it is to see all your friends getting their education, and you've grown up with these people for years, they're part of your family?" he said. "We're creating lost generations — kids who grow up hopeless with no sense of betterment."

Activists aren't alone in their opposition, a fact May 1 organizers hope will draw out even more people to rallies on Saturday.

California legislators have mulled canceling contracts with Arizona in protest. Denver Public Schools has banned work-related travel to Arizona. And several legal challenges, preventing the bill from going into effect this summer, are in the works.

Immigrant rights activists and politicians also say they're stepping up other forms of action. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat who has sponsored a House immigration bill, said he plans to participate in civil disobedience at the White House on Saturday. In Chicago, several college students plan to publicly "come out" as illegal immigrants on a downtown stage.

"It's time to come together and show that undocumenteds have dignity. They're human," said Douglas Interiano, a spokesman of Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, which is helping plan Saturday's march in Dallas.

He projected up to 100,000 could march in Texas with similar events planned in El Paso, Houston, Austin and San Juan. Organizers in California predicted up to 100,000 marching in downtown Los Angeles, too.

"Given what's happening in Arizona now it's crucial for us to speak out and denounce what's happening," said Veronica Mendez, an organizer with the Workers Interfaith Network in Minneapolis where there's a Saturday rally. "We all have the same hopes and goals."


Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis, and Travis Loller in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report.


Ruling that derailed Cave Creek law may be issue for SB 1070

by Beth Duckett - Apr. 28, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

A Cave Creek anti-solicitation ordinance that was struck down in federal court could be the bellwether of a provision targeting day laborers in Arizona's immigration law.

The provision, part of Senate Bill 1070 signed into law last week, makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking up workers.

Critics argue the law unfairly targets day laborers and Latinos in the statewide crackdown that has drawn worldwide attention. Cave Creek had a similar ordinance that was deemed unconstitutional in 2008.

"Anybody who's looking at challenging the law is going to look at that piece," said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The state provision makes it illegal for drivers to hire, attempt to hire or pick up passengers for work if the vehicle impedes the normal flow of traffic. It also prohibits workers from entering vehicles that impede traffic.

Cave Creek and at least six California communities have already set precedents against anti-solicitation ordinances, Saenz said.

Cave Creek's ordinance, passed in 2007, prohibited any person from standing "on or adjacent to a street or highway (to) solicit or attempt to solicit employment, business or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle." It was designed to discourage day laborers and would-be employers from gathering in the northeast Valley town.

The defense fund and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Cave Creek's ordinance, arguing that it violated the First Amendment's right to free speech and the 14th Amendment's right to equal protection under the law.

In a 2008 ruling, U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver banned enforcement of the ordinance with an injunction, saying Cave Creek provided "no evidence that traffic safety is endangered by day laborers soliciting employment from vehicle occupants."

Read more: Article


Arizona immigration law could drive Latinos out of state

by Daniel González - Apr. 28, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Adriana Miranda leaned against the door frame and started to sob.

Her husband hasn't found steady work in a year. Then, on Friday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the tough anti-illegal-immigration law that will allow police to arrest illegal immigrants like her. It was the last straw. After seven years in Arizona, the family was moving.

"Yesterday, we sold our trailer," Miranda, 38, said between sobs. "We don't know exactly where. Another state."

Miranda is not alone. More than 100,000 undocumented immigrants have left Arizona in the past two years because of the bad economy and earlier enforcement crackdowns. Now, a new wave of Latinos is preparing to leave. And it isn't just illegal immigrants: Legal residents and U.S. citizens also say they will leave Arizona because they view the state as unfriendly to Hispanics.

Arizona's new immigration law is not so much about using local police to round up and deport as many of the estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in the state as possible, said state Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, it's about creating so much fear they will leave on their own.

The strategy is known as "attrition through enforcement," and it is a factor behind every one of the anti-illegal-immigration laws passed so far, said Kavanagh, a main supporter of the bill and a criminal-justice professor at Scottsdale Community College.

"That means that rather than conducting large-scale active roundups of illegal immigrants, our intention is to make Arizona a very uncomfortable place for them to be so they leave or never come here in the first place," he said. "So, rather than massive deportations, we are basically going to encourage them to leave on their own."

When that happens, he said, crime and taxes will go down.

But Kavanagh said he is worried about legal immigrants and U.S. citizens also leaving.

"I'm concerned about legal residents who are unnecessarily leaving the state because they have bought into a lot of the misinformation about this bill," Kavanagh said.

Phoenix resident Javier Collazo, 18, a U.S. citizen who was born in California, said he is worried police may question him about his immigration status because of his appearance. He is also worried that he could be arrested under a provision of the law that makes it a crime to transport undocumented immigrants. His in-laws are undocumented, and so are several of his friends.

Kavanagh said legal residents and U.S. citizens have nothing to worry about. The law strictly prohibits racial profiling. And the transporting provision is aimed at human smugglers and other criminals, not people giving rides to undocumented relatives, he said.

"They should know that it prohibits racial profiling," Kavanagh said. "They should know that if they are transporting someone, even if they know the person is illegal, as long as they are not doing a separate illegal act, they are not going to get into trouble. They also should know that once by attrition or by enforcement we significantly reduce the number of illegals in this state, taxes are going to go down and crime is going to go down. So, it will be a better place to live for everybody."

How many Latinos may leave Arizona is unknown. But the state's economy, which has hit Latinos disproportionately hard, combined with the new law, has made living in Arizona intolerable, many Hispanics said this week.

The new law makes it a state crime to be in the country without legal papers and lets police question people about their immigration status if officers have reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally. An anti-smuggling provision makes it a crime to knowingly transport illegal immigrants.

Some immigrants said they are waiting to see if the law survives legal challenges before making a final decision. Others, like Miranda, are already packing their bags. Many said they will move to another state. Few said they will return to Mexico.

Not just illegal immigrants are leaving, and the sudden loss of large numbers of people could hurt the state's already dismal economy.

José Mendez, an economics professor at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, said the state's economic recovery could be hampered by the large-scale loss of workers. While wages may rise, the price of services "will definitely be higher," he said. Businesses, especially small ones that rely on those workers, will have a hard time expanding, Mendez added.

There may also be a loss of sales-tax revenue and even property-tax revenue, he said.

"They pay taxes every time they buy food at the 7-Eleven or when they buy gasoline," he said.

Mendez also said that, in the short term, undocumented immigrants tend to be a drain on public services because they have low-paying jobs and therefore pay little income taxes. But, in the long run, their U.S.-born children tend to offset those costs through higher-paying jobs and higher taxes.

"So on net, when you take those two, empirical studies have shown, they pay more in taxes than the value of services they receive," Mendez said.

State Sen. Richard Miranda, D-Tolleson, said the large-scale loss of people could hurt already fragile communities.

"It could destabilize neighborhoods," he said.

Miranda said he spent 2 1/2 hours Saturday walking through largely Latino neighborhoods in Maryvale and west Phoenix.

He said he met Latinos, Sikhs, Hindus, Filipinos and other people of color, the majority of them U.S. citizens.

"They are all really concerned about the new law," he said. "The stress and intimidation makes people fearful."

Phoenix resident Adamaris, a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, said she thinks many illegal immigrants will leave Arizona.

"The economy is already bad here, and now with this new law ...," she said. "No, we don't want to stay here."

Adamaris, who asked that her last name not be used because she is afraid of being deported, said she plans to wait two months to see if the law survives legal challenges before deciding whether to leave.

Glendale resident John Zavala, 32, was born in Mexico City but has lived in the United States most of his life. He is a legal resident of the United States and moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 2003 because he liked the weather.

But Zavala said he thinks the political climate in the state has turned inhospitable toward Latinos. If the hostility continues, Zavala said, he will leave Arizona.

"I always carry my green card," said Zavala, a computer-network analyst. "Until this point, I've never had to use it. But from now on, I guess I will."

Read more: Article


'9500 Liberty'

Migrant-law film is timely, chilling

by Bill Goodykoontz - Apr. 29, 2010 08:06 AM

The Arizona Republic

In 2007, Prince William County in Virginia enacted a policy requiring police officers to question anyone they had probable cause to believe was in the country illegally.

'9500 Liberty' Directors: Eric Byler, Annabel Park.

Cast: Greg Letiecq, Corey Stewart, Guadencio Fernandez.

Rating: Not rated.

RELATED: Issue's immediacy makes it harder to be 'just' a critic '9500' filmmaker in town

That has a familiar ring to it.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last week signed into law a controversial bill that makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and requires law-enforcement officers to check the status of anyone they believe is in the country illegally.

Thus, "9500 Liberty," a provocative documentary from filmmakers Eric Byler and Annabel Park, couldn't be more timely.

And supporters of the new Arizona law may not like what they see.

Byler and Park chronicle the divisive effect the policy had on Prince William County, as well as its devastating economic impact. Local politicians come off as tools of conservative activists and bloggers, advancing policies for political expediency.

But we're getting ahead of the story.

Byler and Park began the project as a series of Internet videos. Not wanting to wait the months it would take to edit a feature-length documentary, they began posting video online, where their work gained a following. They continued filming as the drama unfolded.

"9500 Liberty" isn't much more sophisticated than the YouTube posts from which it sprang. But that works in its favor; it gives the film immediacy, as if we're watching something urgent unfold. And we are.

The Hispanic population has exploded in the county in recent years. With that growth have come fear and resentment. Greg Letiecq organized the group Help Save Manassas and created a blog, Black Velvet Bruce Li (, to fight illegal immigration. His detractors accused him of prejudice and racism; his blog, for instance, would sometimes bring up Zapatistas when discussing immigrants.

Meanwhile, with the support of the increasingly influential Letiecq, Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, began building support for the law. After a meeting that lasted more than 12 hours, with both sides arguing passionately - one woman says, "Don't ever forget 9/11, who is responsible: illegals" - the board passed the measure unanimously.

Police Chief Charlie Deane had told the board that the policy would require millions of dollars to implement - it was passed before the impact could be assessed - and warned of the trouble that the phrase "probable cause" might cause. Now charged with executing the law, Deane eventually is accused of treason, of all things, a development that begins to mobilize opposition to the law.

Deane wanted cameras in police cars, to provide proof that his officers weren't racially profiling people. This would have required a tax increase, a request the board denied. Later, the board would take up the measure again in an attempt to preserve the policy.

The film takes its name from the address of the former home of Gaudencio Fernandez. The house burned down, but Fernandez left a wall standing and used it to display signs opposing the law. Park says she considers the wall Fernandez's version of a blog. Then a real blog opposing Letiecq's pops up. A measure to remove the words "probable cause" from the language of the law, ensuring that everyone will be checked uniformly only after an arrest, eventually passes the board.

But not before homes are abandoned, friendships are torn, businesses close - not only Hispanic-owned businesses, but all kinds. Economists cite the danger of making an entire element of a population feel unwelcome. In one clip, the filmmakers capture a man taking a picture of a man taking a picture of a Hispanic family. It's chilling.

What's most striking here is the genuine mistrust and anger on both sides. As Deane, who comes off as something close to a hero, says, if his department doesn't have the trust of the entire community, he can't do his job. And trust seems to be in increasingly short supply.

Bare bones and scruffy, "9500 Liberty" does a nice job of chronicling the passage of a law and its effects on residents of Prince William County.

Every community is different. How the law plays out in Arizona will be determined over the coming months; perhaps filmmakers will document that, as well. At least one person has his eye on it.

That would be Greg Letiecq, who praised the passage of the Arizona law in a post on "This is going to be one to watch!"

Reach Goodykoontz at Facebook: facebook.

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Festival, immigration protest may snarl downtown Phoenix traffic

by Weston Phippen - Apr. 30, 2010 01:17 PM

The Arizona Republic

Two major events in downtown Phoenix this weekend are expected to create some traffic congestion for much of Saturday and Sunday.

The 17th annual Cinco de Mayo Phoenix Festival, a two-day event, is projected to draw more than 225,000 people to the area. A major protest against Phoenix's new immigration law

is also scheduled to draw a few thousand people Saturday.

The Cinco de Mayo festival will be held on Jefferson Street from First to Sixth avenues, and the protest will be at the Capitol.

The Cinco de Mayo festival will feature bands, food and carnival rides for kids. There will be large sponsors with booths, the NBA Nation show truck and a Latino Legends in Baseball exhibit.

Protesters will be rallying, marching and asking President Barack Obama to issue an executive order striking down the new law.

"I hope this is a clear message to Obama that you have to deal with the immigration disaster," local activist Salvador Reza said.

The demonstration will begin in the afternoon and will be one of many held around the nation, Reza said. There will be speakers urging solidarity and a push for "targeted" boycotts against some Arizona businesses.

Read more: Article


Boycott Arizona goal: 'Shocking stop to economy'

by Bob Christie - Apr. 30, 2010 01:38 PM

Associated Press

Civil rights leaders are urging organizations to cancel their conventions in Arizona. Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks are encountering protesters on the road. And the AriZona iced tea company wants everyone to know that its drinks are made in New York.

Arizona is facing a backlash over its new law cracking on illegal immigrants, with opponents pushing for a tourism boycott like the one that was used to punish the state 20 years ago over its refusal to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a holiday.

"The goal is to as quickly as possible bring to a shocking stop the economy of Arizona," former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez said Friday as a coalition called Boycott Arizona announced its formation.

The outcry has grown steadily in the week since Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the nation's toughest law against illegal immigration. The measure makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally, and directs local police to question people about their immigration status and demand to see their documents if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.

Many in Arizona support the law amid growing anger over the federal government's failure to secure the border. The state has become a major gateway for drug smuggling and human trafficking from Mexico.

Critics say the law will lead to racial profiling and other abuses, and they are giving Arizona a public relations beating over the issue.

Groups have called on people not to fly Tempe-based US Airways, rent trucks from Phoenix-based U-Haul or go to Suns and Diamondbacks games. A New York congressman and others are urging major league baseball to move the 2011 All Star Game out of Phoenix. The cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles have talked of cutting off deals with the state and its businesses.

Phoenix is vying for the 2012 Republican National Convention, and at least one mayor has called on political leaders to choose a different city.

About 40 immigrant rights activists gathered outside Wrigley Field in Chicago on Thursday, chanting, "Boycott Arizona" as the Diamondbacks opened a series against the Cubs. A small plane pulling a banner criticizing the law circled the stadium.

Civil rights leaders from the Rev. Al Sharpton to Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa have pushed for a boycott.

Turning the tables on the state, the Mexican government warned citizens to use extreme caution when visiting Arizona.

With all things Arizona now under attack, the AriZona Beverage Co. evidently feared business would suffer. The iced tea company tweeted: "AriZona is and always has been a NY based company! (BORN IN BKLYN 92)"

Fifteen million people visit Arizona each year for vacations, conventions and sporting events such as the Fiesta Bowl, pro golf tournaments and baseball spring training. The state tourism office estimated that conventions and other travel and tourist spending in Arizona brought in $18.5 billion in 2008.

Some companies said the call for a boycott has had no noticeable effect, although Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said he has heard of six events being canceled. One of the groups to pull out is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which canceled a fall conference to be held at a Scottsdale resort.

"We knew that the governor had this bill sitting on her desk," spokesman George Tzamaras said. "Literally, minutes after she signed it the board of governors convened a conference call, and by an almost unanimous vote the association decided to pull that meeting."

The prospect of a boycott unnerves Arizona tourism officials.

"We're worried about keeping every convention and meeting here in Phoenix. It's an economic driver here in the state; it provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and a good economic boost to the state," said Doug MacKenzie, spokesman for the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau.

MacKenzie said he has heard of five or six large events canceled, adding, "I think it's misguided to bring the tourism industry into the crosshairs of this political issue."

In 1990, Arizona voters' rejection of a King holiday set off a cascade of cancellations of conventions and other events. The NFL pulled the 1993 Super Bowl from the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. The NBA told the Phoenix Suns not to bother putting in a bid for the All-Star game.

By the time voters finally passed a holiday bill two years later, estimates of lost convention business in the Phoenix area alone topped $190 million.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who surprised many by reversing course and supporting the new immigration law, said the latest furor and the King dustup are completely different.

"One was about honoring a civil rights hero who a majority of Americans held in extremely high esteem," he said. "The other is about an issue of national security and the security of our citizens, where we have broken borders and are literally overwhelmed with both human smuggling and drugs."

The governor's spokesman, Paul Senseman, said boycotts are a foolish response when opponents can mount a legal challenge or try to repeal the law in a referendum.

"A boycott is not only the least effective but the most discriminatory and harmful method to utilize when there are other methods in our democratic process that are readily available," he said.


On the Net:

Boycott Arizona coalition:

Read more: Article

You can't discriminate against us, we are the government! It's wrong to discriminate against the government. [Of course that's not going to stop the Arizona government from discriminating against Mexicans and running them out of our state!]


Is Boycott Arizona ‘discriminatory?’

Perhaps one of the oddest comments to come out of Arizona’s immigration debate – and that’s saying something – is a response by Gov. Jan Brewer’s spokesman, Paul Senseman, to a recently formed local coalition called Boycott Arizona, which aims to have the state suffer economic consequences in response to the passage of SB1070.

Senseman said, “A boycott is not only the least effective but the most discriminatory and harmful method to utilize when there are other methods in our democratic process that are readily available.”

Is it not just a little strange that the governor’s flak would call a boycott effort in response to SB1070, which is being criticized across the nation for the possibility of racial profiling, “discriminatory?”

Ironic, maybe?

And is it even logically true?

After all, if a vast majority of Arizonans support the new law, as polls seem to indicate, and a boycott would affect Arizonans, then who is being discriminated against.

Arizonans like the law. If people who don’t like the law choose not to do business with us how is that discriminatory?

The problem with SB1070 is that its authors and primary political supporters didn’t do a cost-benefit analysis.

Immigration lawyers I’ve spoken with have told me that they don’t see a lot more being done to round up illegal immigrants under the new law than was done under provisions that already existed.

What HAS happened is that the rest of the nation now thinks of us – rightly or wrongly – as the new South Africa.

Add in legal challenges that very well might keep the law from ever going into effect and what exactly will we have gained?

Shouldn't the legislature and governor has asked these questions BEFORE approving the law?

So, is it discriminatory? No.

Harmful? Quite possibly.

But it isn’t the Boycott Arizona folks who caused it. It’s the folks we elected.


Coalition kicks off boycott Arizona plan

April 30, 2010 - 2:44PM , updated: April 30, 2010 - 5:08PM

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

A coalition of organizations is working to coordinate existing boycotts of Arizona and help spur new ones in hopes of knocking the wind out of the state economy and forcing lawmakers to repeal the new law aimed at illegal immigrants.

And if it hurts Latinos who live in the state, that's a price they're willing to pay, said former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez who is chairing the campaign.

At a press conference Friday, Gutierrez said there is a need to expand the negative reaction far beyond the tourism industry which already is being affected. Various organizations and governments already have announced they are canceling travel to and meetings in Arizona.

He said investors - particularly large ones like California's Public Employee Retirement System - need to be convinced to suspend investments in Arizona companies.

"Our goal is to bring to a shocking stop the economy of the state of Arizona until the business community, until people of good will realize that this law will not be accepted and must be repealed," Gutierrez said.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the legislation, told Capitol Media Services Friday that boycotts are "thoughtless and harmful to innocent people.''

But Gutierrez said Latinos in Arizona are prepared to accept the financial consequences.

Gutierrez compared it to the 1955 bus boycott by blacks in Birmingham, Ala. to protest the segregated seating on city buses. With blacks being most of the customers, the move forced a change in the law.

"They finally had to rise up against the oppression of the Jim Crow laws,'' he said. "And they brought the economy of Birmingham to a stop.''

Similarly, Gutierrez said blacks in South Africa backed an international boycott of that country to end the apartheid segregation practices there.

"They recognized that in order to take injustice and knock it to its feet, it would require knocking the economy to its feet and would require a sacrifice,'' he said.

He said the same is true in Arizona.

"We understand that our people are inordinately the dishwashers and the bus boys for the hospitality industry,'' Gutierrez said. "But we also understand it is they themselves, the mothers and fathers of children in this state ... that are asking for this boycott.''

On Friday, Brewer signed into law several changes legislators had made in the original measure.

One removes the option of police to use race, ethnicity or national origin as a factor to decide whether there is "reasonable suspicion'' to determine if someone is in this country illegally.

The other narrows the circumstances under which police can question someone.

SB 1070 said an inquiry could be made after as part of any "lawful contact.'' The new language says there first must be part of a "lawful stop, detention or arrest.''

"These changes specifically answer legal questions raised by some who expressed fears that the original law would somehow allow or lead to racial profiling,'' Brewer said in a prepared statement. "These new amendments make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona.

And gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said they also make it clear that enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local police would be "secondary,'' first requiring that someone be the subject of legitimate police inquiry for some other reason.

Gutierrez called those changes "cosmetic.''

As proof, he cited quotes from Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, the architect of the original language. Pearce late Thursday told Capitol Media Services he believes the new wording won't alter how the law is enforced.

"Pearce has an obsessive, an obsessive focus on the Latino community,'' Gutierrez said.

Brewer said those who oppose the new law are a minority.

"I think the people of Arizona support it,'' she said. "I think the majority of the people throughout the country support it.''

The governor said she and state lawmakers felt they had no choice but to act.

"We are going to stand up and push back and call on the federal government to secure our borders,'' Brewer said. "The bottom line is SB 1070 and securing our borders are two programs that go together.''

Gutierrez said the boycotts already are starting even without a push from his group.

That includes councils in several cities which are considering bans on nonessential travel by employees to Arizona. The two major political parties are being urged to remove Phoenix from a list of potential sites for their national political conventions.

Even the Diamondbacks, playing at Wrigley Field in Chicago, were picketed. And, in a defensive move, the manufacturers of AriZona ice tea are spreading the word that their product comes from New York City.

One thing yet to be worked out, he said, are exactly what companies should be targeted, whether to convince people to stop buying their products or urge pension funds not to invest in their stocks.

Some companies with a major Arizona presence have their headquarters elsewhere. Others with Arizona headquarters, like Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., have offices in Arizona but actually are incorporated in Delaware.

Gutierrez said his organization already is researching firms, "both in terms of their economic presence in Arizona and, quite frankly, their history.''

The effort is being coordinated by Somos America, a coalition whose members include labor unions, immigrant rights groups and Hispanic organizations.


Arizona Immigration Law Causes Fury, But Will It Ever See The Light Of Day?

Bill Lucey Bill Lucey – Thu Apr 29, 3:47 pm ET

Immigration reform is back in the news, thanks to a law recently passed in Arizona, which gives enforcement officials the power to make "reasonable searches'' of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

Arizona's illegal immigrant population stands at 460,000, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security. Of the 38 million foreign-born residents in the United States, approximately one-third are estimated to be unauthorized.

The Congressional Research Service reports that the number of foreign-born people living in the United States stands at 12.6 percent of the population, a figure not seen since the early 20th century.

Lawmakers, legal scholars, and immigration rights activists have all weighed-in on this controversial bill, mostly disapproving of it for violating protections against unreasonable searches and encouraging racial profiling.

The likelihood of this law (which isn't scheduled to take effect until late July or early August) ever seeing the light of day seems remote, at least according to constitutional scholars. In addition to the potential of racial profiling, Arizona is attempting to regulate immigration policy despite the fact that the Constitution gives that power to the federal government under foreign affairs.

"Many of the statute's provisions are, in my view, likely to be found unlawful,'' Muneer I. Ahmad, professor of Law at Yale Law School wrote in an email, "because they have been preempted by federal law governing immigration. It is generally understood that federal immigration law 'occupies the field,' such that states many not regulate in this area. This has been the basis on which a number of state statutes seeking to regulate immigration have been invalidated.''

Kermit Roosevelt, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School doesn't think the law will be overturned solely on the grounds that it violates protections against unreasonable searches like many have claimed, because "the [Arizona] law requires police officers to have 'reasonable suspicion' of illegal conduct before authorizing a stop.'' Where the law runs into troubled waters, according to Roosevelt, is the enforcement of the law, which might be interpreted as discriminating on racial grounds in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Supporters of the bill dismiss the suggestion it will lead to racial profiling since the law prohibits the use of race or nationality as a sole basis for an immigration check. The Arizona governor's office has additionally developed a training course to help officers learn whether or not to check a person's immigration status.

However well intentioned the Arizona law is in preventing immigrants from pouring through the borders illegally, the law as it is written, is open to different interpretation on what constitutes a "reasonable search," which carries with it the potential of civil rights court challenges on grounds that it violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects against "unreasonable searches.''

The discriminatory implications of SB 1070 has also reportedly led to several convention groups threatening to take their business to other states if this law goes into effect. Other institutions, such as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, are considering a resolution calling for an end to any business the city has with Arizona or any Arizona-based businesses.

The Associated Press, meanwhile, reports The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders will file a suit Thursday in Phoenix federal court to block the enforcement of SB 1070, on the grounds the law violates due-process by detaining suspects before they're convicted.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund are also reportedly in the process of filing lawsuits.

In addition to court challenges, SB 1070 could also be struck down at the ballot box. A group called One Arizona' has filed the necessary paper work with the Arizona Attorney General's Office on Wednesday to launch a petition drive to place a referendum on the November ballot, which would put the law on hold until the November election. The group would have to collect 76,682 signatures and turn them 90 days after the legislative session ends before it can be placed on the November ballot.

President Obama has already promised to have the U.S. Justice Department look into Arizona's new law to determine if the bill is legal.


Rallies expect boost after Ariz. immigration law


By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer Sophia Tareen, Associated Press Writer – 1 min ago

CHICAGO – Immigrant rights activists planning dozens of Saturday marches nationwide hope Arizona's controversial immigration law spurs tens of thousands to protest and adds urgency to pleas for federal immigration reform.

Activists believe opposition to the law — which requires authorities to question people about immigration status if there is reason to suspect they're in the country illegally — could be the catalyst to draw crowds similar to those four years ago.

That's when more than a million people across the country united to protest ultimately unsuccessful federal legislation that would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony.

The movement fractured and annual May 1 rally attendance dropped sharply as attempts to reform federal immigration policy fizzled. In 2006, nearly half a million people took to Chicago's streets. Last year, fewer than 15,000 participated in the rallies, held May 1 because it's a traditional day of protest and International Workers Day.

But immigration reform advocates have seen a flurry of activity since the Arizona measure was signed into law last week.

"What happened in Arizona proves that racism and anti-immigrant hysteria across the country still exists. We need to continue to fight," said Lee Siu Hin, a coordinator with the Washington, D.C.-based National Immigrant Solidarity Network.

Relying on online social networking, churches and ethnic media to mobilize, activists have called for a boycott of Arizona businesses and protested outside Arizona Diamondbacks baseball games.

Supporters say the law is necessary because of the federal government's failure to secure the border and growing anxiety over crime related to illegal immigration, while critics say it's unconstitutional and encourages racial profiling and discrimination against immigrants or anyone thought to be an immigrant.

Activists fear without federal legislation in place to address the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., other states will follow Arizona's lead.

"If Republicans and Democrats do not take care of this albatross around our necks, this will in fact be the undoing of many, many years of civil rights struggle in this country," said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, where organizers expect 100,000 to march downtown Saturday.

President Barack Obama had once promised to tackle immigration reform in his first 100 days, but has pushed back that timetable several times. He said this week that Congress may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration after going through a tough legislative year. However, the president and Congress could address related issues, like boosting personnel and resources for border security, in spending bills this year.

Activists aren't alone in their opposition to Arizona's law, a fact May 1 organizers hope will draw out even more people Saturday.

California legislators have mulled canceling contracts with Arizona in protest. Denver Public Schools has banned work-related travel to Arizona. And several legal challenges, preventing the bill from going into effect this summer, are in the works.

Immigrant rights activists and politicians also say they're stepping up other forms of action. U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat who has sponsored a House immigration bill, said he plans to participate in civil disobedience at the White House on Saturday. In Chicago, several college students plan to publicly "come out" as illegal immigrants on a downtown stage.

"It's time to come together and show that undocumenteds have dignity. They're human," said Douglas Interiano, a spokesman of Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance, which is helping plan Saturday's march in Dallas.

He projected up to 100,000 could march in Texas with similar events planned in El Paso, Houston, Austin and San Juan.

"Given what's happening in Arizona now it's crucial for us to speak out and denounce what's happening," said Veronica Mendez, an organizer with the Workers Interfaith Network in Minneapolis, where there's also a Saturday rally. "We all have the same hopes and goals."


Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis and Travis Loller in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this report

What can constitute "reasonable suspicion" that a person is in the country illegally - demeanor, language, dress and presence in areas known for drophouses or human smuggling

So using that definition it sounds like having brown skin, working at a peon labor job, speaking or reading Spanish is "reasonable suspicion" that your a criminal.

Of course that definition seems to be if the cop gets a hair up his ass and decides your a Mexican he can stop you and make you prove your not a criminal or arrest you. That new definition of "reasonable suspicion" doesn't agree at all with the traditional legal definition of "reasonable suspicion" which I have always know.

The traditional definition of "reasonable suspicion" is that if a crime occurs, and you match the description of the suspect, and you are in a location that is near the crime scene at a time shortly after the crime occurred the cops have "reasonable suspicion" to stop you to determine if your the suspect.

So using the traditional definition a cop would not have "reasonable suspicion" to stop someone in Phoenix because an unknown person illegally crossed the border 2 days, weeks, months or years ago 200 miles south in Santa Cruz County.


Sheriff Joe Arpaio's crime sweep of west Phoenix continues

by JJ Hensley - May. 1, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Even by Sheriff Joe Arpaio's standards, the timing of his "crime-suppression operation" this week seemed impeccable, though the effort had been in the works for nearly a month.

With Arpaio's 15th crime-suppression operation coming just a week after Gov. Jan Brewer approved a new immigration law for Arizona, there was renewed focus on the actions of Arpaio's deputies and his agency's approach to rooting illegal immigrants out of Maricopa County.

The image of deputies swarming a wide swath of west Phoenix while the state is making national headlines with its new law left many wondering: Is this how Arizona will look when the legislation takes effect?

That answer won't come until late July - or later, if a group forces the measure onto ballots.

A state agency responsible for training police officers will play a big role, too, as representatives begin the process of trying to piece together a curriculum everyone can agree on.

But there's little doubt that the people behind the immigration bill - Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, and Kris Kobach, a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law who has become a fixture in Arizona - had Arpaio's approach in mind when they wrote the law.

"Arizona law enforcement can make a real difference by gradually ratcheting up the level of enforcement one click at a time," Kobach said, pointing to the Legal Arizona Workers Act that took effect in early 2008 and Arpaio's sweeps that began soon after.

"Maricopa County began systematically enforcing the human-smuggling act; now Arizona is turning it one notch stronger with this act," Kobach said.

The overlap between Arpaio's approach and the new state law is undeniable, and that similarity lies in the "reasonable suspicion" component that has led to allegations, federal investigations and lawsuits charging that Arpaio's deputies target residents based on race.

That's also what critics of the legislation fear the most.

Kobach produced a training video for sheriff's deputies that includes a section on what can constitute "reasonable suspicion" that a person is in the country illegally.

Among the 20 items Kobach lists are demeanor, language, dress and presence in areas known for drophouses or human smuggling.

Kobach stresses in the video that it takes more than one factor to add up to "reasonable suspicion."

That overlap doesn't mean the new state law is an extension of Arpaio's practices, Kobach said.

"This law doesn't force police officers to make any stop, it doesn't force them to engage in any enforcement of any particular law, it just kicks in on its own," he said. "It doesn't force agencies to go out on patrol. It doesn't force agencies to enforce the human-smuggling statute."

Whatever differences may exist between the sheriff's approach and the state law, the goals are the same: to make life as uncomfortable as possible for illegal immigrants in Arizona in the hopes of driving them somewhere else.

Authorities call it "voluntary compliance."

It extends from operations targeting human smugglers and illegal workers to run-of-the-mill Arizona residents who are in the country illegally.

"It shuts them down, even if it's just for a couple of days," said Brian Sands, Arpaio's deputy chief who oversees the office's Human Smuggling Unit. "It sends them a warning to let them know maybe they ought to move their operation somewhere else, outside of Maricopa County."

Both Sands and Kobach point out that the new state law requires police officers to have contacted someone for a suspected criminal violation before they can start asking about immigration status.

Much of the work that sheriff's deputies do to target illegal immigrants is covered by the state's human-smuggling law and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas' interpretation that illegal immigrants can be charged as co-conspirators in their own smuggling.

How Thomas' interim replacement, Rick Romley, interprets that law could affect Arpaio's ability to rely on it while conducting crime sweeps in Valley neighborhoods.

"We're doing a review of all of it," Romley said of Thomas' legal opinions, which laid the groundwork for Arpaio's enforcement measures.

But the new state law diminishes any potential impact of Romley's review.

The statute requires law-enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law and to try to determine a suspect's immigration status if they have reason to believe the person is in the country illegally.

In addition to authorizing local police to conduct the kind of immigration-enforcement efforts Arpaio's deputies have become famous for, the law targets day laborers, people with falsified documents and cities that execute so-called "sanctuary" policies that discourage police from asking about a person's immigration status when it is not relevant.

But the case of Sergio Martinez-Villaman offers a glimpse at what critics of the law fear most.

Sheriff's deputies stopped Martinez-Villaman, a Mexican citizen living legally in the U.S., during a June 2008 crime-suppression operation in Mesa.

Martinez-Villaman gave the arresting deputy a host of documents - including an Arizona ID card, proof of insurance, a passport and visa, according to court records - but a deputy arrested him for failure to use a turn signal and produce a driver's license.

Martinez-Villaman was jailed and held for 13 days when he couldn't pay bond, even though jail personnel told Martinez-Villaman that there were no immigration holds on him, according to court records.

Martinez-Villaman is suing Arpaio and the deputy who arrested him.

Kobach believes Arizona's new law could actually prevent situations like that from happening in the future.

"It will ensure that an officer as soon as practicable confirms or dispels any reasonable suspicion he may have," Kobach said. "In that case, the federal government could have confirmed over the telephone."

Read more: Article

Protest Arizona's racist law today - 2 pm - State Capital 17th Ave & Washington


"Retumbará" de nuevo el Capitolio Phoenix, Arizona

por Samuel Murillo - Apr. 30, 2010 08:56 AM

La Voz

Este sábado 1 de mayo diversas organizaciones comunitarias y miembros de la comunidad regresarán al Capitolio estatal para realizar una protesta de rechazo a la ley antiinmigrante 1070 de Arizona y para pedir por una reforma migratoria.

La movilización multitudinaria se realizará de forma simultánea en Tucson, así como en otras ciudades a lo largo del país que se han solidarizado con los residentes de Arizona para expresar su rechazo a la controversial medida.

Raquel Terán, coordinadora del Movimiento en Pro de una Reforma Migratoria en Phoenix, informó que será un llamado de acción nacional para aumentar la presión en torno a una reforma del sistema de inmigración.

Otras organizaciones comunitarias en ciudades como Chicago y Los Angeles están preparándose para salir a las calles a manifestarse a favor de una ley que legalice a millones de indocumentados.

De acuerdo con Terán, se utilizará como plataforma esta serie de eventos en toda la nación para hablar de lo que pasa actualmente en Arizona.

La convocatoria para la manifestación frente al Capitolio se está difundiendo a través de redes sociales en Internet, así como mediante la organización PUENTE.

Salvador Reza, dirigente de PUENTE, informó que están convocando a la comunidad a que asista a la sede de la gobernadora entre las 2 y 6 de la tarde, para manifestarse y para discutir posibles acciones de protección contra la ley. Otra manifestación se está convocando para las 10 de la mañana.

En Tucson, mientras tanto, la directora de la Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Isabel García, indicó que se realizará una manifestación y marcha para conmemorar el Día del Trabajo y para expresar el rechazo a la ley 1070.

García mencionó que se espera que una multitud asista a este evento que se ha venido realizando cada año desde 2006 con el propósito de reconocer a los trabajadores inmigrantes.

El lema de la marcha es: :La gran marcha por los derechos plenos. No a más militarización y criminalidad, sí a una legalización", mencionó.



Manifestación de rechazo a la ley 1070


Sábado 1 de mayo


Explanada del Capitolio estatal (1700 W. Washington) Phoenix, Az.

Contacte al reportero:

Maybe they should have waited till after the census to run all the Mexicans out of town? According to this article the racist Arizona government tyrants will lose $1,550 in Federal pork for each Mexican that isn't counted.


Arizona immigration law might hurt census outreach

by Dianna M. Náñez - May. 1, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Some community and city leaders are worrying that doors may go unanswered today in many hard-to-count communities across Arizona when Census Bureau workers begin visiting homes of people who have yet to return their census forms.

The concern is that people will fear being arrested and deported if they talk to Census workers after the passage last week of the nation's toughest immigration law.

The census is a once-a-decade count of everyone living in the United States, legally or illegally, and is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.

Efforts have been launched nationally and locally to reach out to people who speak languages other than English. For the first time since the census began in 1790, Arizona and other states with large Latino populations received bilingual census forms printed in Spanish and English. With 455,545 bilingual forms mailed in Arizona, and 316,688 of those going to Maricopa County households, the county and state ranked seventh in the nation for the number of forms sent.

"There are immigrant populations that are considered hard to count where language is a big factor," said Adrienne Oneto, assistant division chief of content and outreach for the U.S. Census Bureau. "The bilingual form could assist with language barriers."

To create more personal contact with minority and immigrant populations in the Valley, the census partnered with community volunteers who would reach out to four historically undercounted populations: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos and Native Americans.

The volunteers have gone to churches, schools, cultural festivals and neighborhood meetings asking people to fill out their census survey.

As of early this week, Arizona had a 67 percent participation rate in the census. National participation is 72 percent, the same rate achieved in 2000. Last week, the state was ranked 38th in the nation for participation.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski has led his city's census outreach. For months, he and other volunteers have canvassed Phoenix, teaching Spanish speakers and immigrants about the census. But efforts to reach the nearly 500,000 illegal immigrants who live in Arizona could fail if they are too frightened to answer the door for a stranger, especially one with government forms, he said.

"What we're trying to do is educate the children and encourage the kids to help their parents fill out the form. We're asking for more volunteers to walk with Census workers so people see a familiar face," he said.

Nowakowski is also reaching out to groups protesting the bill, asking them to use rallies as an opportunity to speak to undocumented immigrants and Latinos.

"We want them to tell everyone that it is illegal for Census workers to share their personal information with anyone. [Yea so what? They illegally used census information to round up Japanese Americans in WWII and cart them off to concentration camps] These workers take an oath; if they violate it, there's a huge penalty and possibly jail time. We want them to tell voters that filling out the census could mean more political seats for our state," he said.

He hopes that message will get through to people at today's large immigration rally at the state Capitol.

The message of Census volunteers often has focused on how important federal funding is at a time when Arizona cities are struggling with massive budget deficits. Each person who is counted is worth about $1,550 a year in federal funding.

In El Mirage, city workers were recruited to help spur census participation.

"We were on track to exceed our 2000 participation. But that was before this law," said Stacy Pearson, a city spokeswoman. "We had city volunteers go out with bilingual volunteers this week to let people know to expect Census workers knocking on their doors. We're hoping we can still get people who haven't filled out their form to answer."

In Phoenix, unexpected help came from Dolores Huerta, an old friend of Nowakowski's and a longtime civil-rights advocate, who is in the Valley this week to protest the immigration law. Huerta fought by Cesar Chavez's side to win rights for farmworkers and has been working to increase census participation in her Southern California hometown.

On Thursday, she agreed to tape an impassioned public-service announcement in Spanish about the census that will air on Radio Campesina, a popular Valley Spanish-language radio station.

"This law is a scare tactic. They want you to hide, to leave," she said in an interview with The Arizona Republic on Friday. "I'm saying don't be afraid. You need to be counted. You need to talk to your neighbors and let them know it's OK to do the census."

Read more: Article


Mesa students protest immigration law

Hayley Ringle, Tribune

April 30, 2010 - 12:46PM

Dozens of Mesa junior high and high school students and community members held up homemade signs, carried the U.S. flag and chanted “Si se puede,” or “Yes We Can,” Friday morning as they protested Arizona controversial immigration bill.

They lined up along Main Street in front of Pioneer Park, wore white shirts symbolizing unity and peace, and cheered as drivers honked when they drove by.

Their signs read “We are future voters,” “Is it a crime to be born here and have brown skin?” and “Hear my voice today — Count my vote tomorrow.”

The protest, which was organized through text messages, had students participating from Kino, Mesa, Powell, Taylor and Poston junior high schools, and Westwood High School. They started protesting at 9 a.m. and planned to continue through early Friday afternoon.

Xochilt Morales, a Westwood High School senior, said she wants to keep participating in protests against SB1070, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last week.

“As students, we needed to show the governor that without us Hispanics, they’re going to lose a lot of money,” said Morales, 18, who has lived in Mesa for 12 years and whose family is from Mexico. “There are a lot of Latin Americans who go to school here and they are immigrants. They came here for their kids to have a better education than they had.”

The new law, which is expected to begin in about 90 days barring any court action, requires police to check the immigration status of people they come into contact with if they have “reasonable suspicion” they are in this country illegally.

However, HB 2162, approved by both the House and Senate late Thursday, will require police to only ask about legal status if they have stopped the person for another legal reason. The new bill says police may not use race, ethnicity or national origin as the main factor for stopping the person.

Magdalena Schwartz, a pastor from Discipulos del Reino church in Mesa, came out to help the students and make sure they weren’t blocking traffic or doing anything illegal. She also excused her 15-year-old son from school so he could participate in the protest.

“They (students) have a right to protest, and they want to participate in the civic movement,” said Schwartz, 52, a Mesa resident for 22 years who is originally from Chile. “Many have parents without papers, and they don’t want to leave.”

Schwartz said the law is going to hurt the Mesa Unified School District if the families move to another state or move back to Mexico.

“I hope this country wakes up about what the immigrants are doing here,” she said. “We support the criminals going to jail or going back to Mexico, but families whose kids are going to school here shouldn’t be punished.”

Mesa Unified School District associate superintendent Delfino Alemán said he met with community leaders and about 15 parents Thursday evening concerning their plans to protest on Friday. He said he encouraged the parents to keep their children in school so they would not miss learning or testing that often takes place on Fridays.

“School is the safest place for students. We didn’t know if they would be under their parents’ supervision. School is important. We encouraged them not to leave their campuses,” Alemán said. “But if a student chooses to leave, we won’t restrain them.”

The students could receive an unexcused absence.

Alemán said he was told there are groups of protesters at Pioneer Park and Skyline Park, as well as on the sidewalk in front of Skyline High School. He said there are a “handful” of kids involved in the protest outside Skyline High.

Zaid Ruiz, an 8th grader from Kino Junior High School, said he started forwarding texts to let fellow students know about the protest. Many of the students also participated in a 10-mile march last Friday around Mesa. Ruiz was born in Phoenix and his family is from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

“I want people who are here to stay here,” said Ruiz, 14, who carried a “Terminate SB1070 Now” sign. “I don’t want families broken up.”

The students planned to continue protesting until there was a change in the law.

Joshua Schwartz, Magdalena’s son who is a ninth grader from Taylor Junior High School, said he came out to show how unjust the law is. His sign said “What is my crime?”

“I want to let the Senate know that this law is unjust and unconstitutional,” said Schwartz, 15, who wore yellow fabric around his head to show he was one of the student protest leaders. “I wish there could be more people out here today.”


Arizona immigration-law protests smaller than national rallies

by Dustin Gardiner, Beth Duckett and Connie Sexton - May. 1, 2010 05:31 PM

The Arizona Republic

Peace permeated Saturday's protests against Arizona's new immigration law as thousands gathered in Phoenix for an early-morning vigil and then an afternoon May Day march.

But the size of demonstrations at the epicenter of the immigration debate withered in comparison to rallies across the nation, where tens of thousands of protesters - including 50,000 in Los Angeles - gathered to demand that President Barack Obama tackle immigration reform immediately.

In Phoenix, several people were on hand to show their support for Senate Bill 1070, but only a few of those demonstrators riled the crowd. As police escorted them away, they were met with shouts of "White supremacist," "go home, Nazi" and "racist."

The measure signed into law last week requires police to inquire about the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect to be in the county illegally. Barring a successful legal challenge, the law goes into effect July 29.

Recent uproar over the legislation may have impacted attendance at the annual Cinco de Mayo festival in downtown Phoenix, a celebration of Mexican culture that continues today. The only fierce thing participants battled there Saturday was an unrelenting wind.

Tony Meza Jr. held down his plate of taco carnitas and surveyed the crowd as people trickled in.

"I knew there might be less people than last year because of the law," he said. "But this is supposed to be a celebration of the day. People shouldn't be worried of anything."

The event, which organizers said drew 75,000 people, is a chance for people to understand Mexican history. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

While Cinco de Mayo centers on May 5, May 1 is International Workers Day, a traditional date for political demonstrations. Immigration advocates latched on to that tradition in 2006, when more than 1 million people across the country, half a million in Chicago alone, protested federal legislation that would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony. That legislation ultimately failed.

On Saturday, labor organizer John Delgado attended a rally in New York at which authorities estimated 6,500 gathered.

"I want to thank the governor of Arizona because she's awakened a sleeping giant," he said.

Arizona has been the brunt of criticism since Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 on April 23. Television comedians, political activists, families and students from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., have criticized the state. They have marched, practiced civil disobedience and "came out" about their citizenship status in the name of rights for immigrants, including the estimated 12 million living in the U.S illegally.

In Dallas, police estimated at least 20,000 attended a Saturday rally. About 5,000 gathered in Atlanta, and at least 5,000 marched in Milwaukee.

And police said 50,000 rallied in Los Angeles, where singer Gloria Estefan kicked off a massive downtown march.

At a protest Saturday morning in Phoenix, Mesa resident Susan Islas said she has undocumented relatives she fears will be hurt by the law.

"We just have to have faith that everything is going to pass by," she said. "We're holding vigils every day."

Islas was one of about 50 who gathered for a vigil outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Arizona headquarters near Central and Palm avenues. The event was sponsored by Immigration Reform Now.

The turnout was far greater at the May Day march held at the state Capitol. Even though the march, sponsored by Reform Immigration for America, wasn't to begin until 3 p.m., protesters began gathering at mid-morning and stayed well into the evening.

Donnella Apperson arrived about 10:30 a.m. from her home in Mesa. She said she has a child who is half-Hispanic.

"I'm afraid he's going to be targeted," Apperson said. "We're all human. We all bleed the same color. We're here to have the same rights as Whites."

The spirit at the march was festive. They chanted "Si se puede" ("Yes we can") and carried signs, some reading "Sanction Arizona" and "Stop separations of families."

Drivers passing along Jefferson or Washington streets frequently blasted their car horns, igniting eruptions of cheers from the marchers. Some of the protesters carried their own horns as others played snare drums.

As in previous protests over the law, there were participants from other states, including Geoff Blake, a pastor from San Diego.

"I think the law has driven a wedge between law enforcement and people here in Arizona," said Blake, who came to Phoenix with his wife to protest the law. "It's increased fear, which is never a good thing."

Some supporters came to the march wanting to discuss the immigration issue. Bill supporter Toby Olson of Chandler said police suggested he leave the crowd after he was face-to-face arguing with several protesters.

"The other side is not really permitted to talk," Olson said. "I thought (their) side is supposed to be tolerant of different points of view."

Pat Scott of Phoenix and Virginia Santa Cruz of Tempe had a more amicable conversation.

"I will listen to all audiences because I can change my mind as easily as anybody else," Scott said. She decided to attend the march to have a deeper understanding of the controversy.

"I don't want to be ignorant," she said. "We can talk civilly."

Santa Cruz said she is a third-generation American. At the march, she carried a sign picturing her two brothers, who served in the Vietnam War.

"I'm most upset about the part where I can be asked for my papers," she said. "The police can come to my home if my party is too loud. I don't have any problems securing our borders, (but) there are overzealous cops out there."

For Sandra Morales, 38, Saturday was a day to celebrate, and it's why she chose to go to the Cinco de Mayo event. She chuckled as her daughter, Gabriella Montalvo, 4, strummed a toy guitar.

"This is a holiday for us, for all Americans," she said. "It's a positive thing."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Read more: Article

I suspect the cops will blow this incident way out of proportion and use it as an excuse to increase the drug war and increase the latest war on Mexicans and use it to promote making guns illegall.


17 detained after search for smugglers who shot Sheriff's deputy

by Dennis Wagner - May. 1, 2010 09:59 PM

The Arizona Republic

The manhunt for two drug smugglers in the shooting of Pinal County sheriff's Deputy Louis Paroll in an isolated area of south-central Arizona was called off Saturday night, but authorities said they would continue to monitor the area.

Since the shooting, 17 people found in the search area have been detained. Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Tami Villar said Border Patrol was holding 14 detainees suspected of being illegal immigrants. She said the other three matched the description of the shooters given by Puroll and were questioned Saturday by sheriff's investigators. Authorities believe there were five shooters in all.

The Sheriff's Office is also conducting an internal investigation into the shooting, standard policy whenever a shooting involving an officer takes place.

Villar added that evidence recovered from the scene is only now being processed, but would not comment on if weapons had been found.

Puroll, who had been shot with an AK-47-type weapon around 4 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office, has declined requests to be interviewed.

The rugged desert area where the shooting took place, near the junction of Interstate 8 and Arizona 84 in south-central Arizona, is considered a high-traffic drug- and human-smuggling corridor.

A massive hunt of 100 square miles that included helicopters with night-vision equipment and more than 200 officers, including SWAT teams, from 13 agencies searched into the night Friday.

More than one helicopter came under fire during the evening as officers rescued Puroll, who had been shot with an AK-47-type weapon around 4 p.m., according to the Sheriff's Office.

Puroll suffered a flesh wound above his kidney that tore off a chunk of skin. He was treated at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center and released Friday night.

"Here we see the tactics have changed and become more dangerous," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said. "This has reached a critical mass for law enforcement."

Babeu said he has "called out for help" from federal officials to no avail. He said smugglers know "the police are after them and the fact they are firing upon us changes the game."

Gov. Jan Brewer also weighed in, saying in a Twitter message sent out Friday evening: "Our thoughts & prayers go out to the Pinal County Deputy shot during a stop. Contrary to what some leaders say, our borders are not secure."

Brewer could not be reached to discuss it further.

The shooting occurred exactly one week after the governor signed the toughest anti-illegal-immigration law in the country, triggering a firestorm of state and national controversy. The legislation has been hotly debated, and it has put Arizona in the spotlight over how border states deal with rampant illegal immigration.

The legislation has sparked protests and calls to boycott the Grand Canyon State from opponents, while supporters argue it should be emulated nationwide. Babeu, a frequent critic of federal immigration policy, is a strong supporter of the law.

Babeu was joined by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, another supporter of the law, at a command-post news conference late Friday at an I-8 truck stop.

Arpaio said that, in 90 days, when Arizona's new law takes effect, he will be enforcing it "100 percent," and he worries that violence common with drug cartels in Mexico will come to the U.S.

"I think this is one incident that proves that it's going to happen in the future," Arpaio said. "I predict it's going to get worse because of the chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border."

Villar said Friday's incident "sends a very powerful and loud message that we have a problem."

She added that the shooters are Hispanic men who "appear to be undocumented." Late Saturday, she released a description of the outstanding shooters:

One was described as a light-skinned Mexican man with a Sinaloan accent carrying a long gun. He has a black handkerchief covering his face and wore a green and brown fatigue-type shirt, tan pants, black boots and a ball cap.

The second shooter was described as a darker-skinned Mexican man who was possibly carrying two handguns. He wore a grey, long-sleeve hooded sweatshirt with the hood drawn tight around his face, green colored pants, and black and white tennis shoes.

Villar said Puroll, 53, was attacked about 5 miles south of I-8. She said the veteran deputy is assigned to patrol the area known for drug smuggling.

Babeu said Puroll was tracking the smugglers, who left behind large quantities of marijuana.

Babeu said up to 30 rounds were fired at the deputy, who returned fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a handgun.

Villar said the attackers were armed with long guns and at least one handgun. She said gunfire aimed at the helicopters came about an hour after the initial incident. An unknown amount of marijuana apparently handled by the shooters remained in the desert.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office dispatched a helicopter and members of its SWAT team to Pinal County to assist in the case, said sheriff's Lt. Brian Lee. The Arizona Department of Public Safety also sent two helicopters and a SWAT team.

About 70 Maricopa County sheriff's employees also responded to the scene. Lee said most had been involved in a crime-suppression sweep in west Phoenix earlier in the day.

The Border Patrol also sent agents to help with the investigation, said Mario Escalante, a patrol spokesman. The nearest Border Patrol station in the area is in Casa Grande.

Republic reporters Craig Harris, Allison Hurtado, JJ Hensley, Megan Boehnke and Daniel Gonzalez contributed to this article.

Read more: Article

The Republic didn't says it in these words but the bottom line is "Government is the cause of the problem, not the solution"


Editorial: Stop failing Arizona; Start fixing immigration

May. 1, 2010 11:32 PM

The Arizona Republic

We need leaders.

The federal government is abdicating its duty on the border.

Arizona politicians are pandering to public fear.

The result is a state law that intimidates Latinos while doing nothing to curb illegal immigration.

This represents years of failure. Years of politicians taking the easy way and allowing the debate to descend into chaos.

The Arizona Republic has been calling for comprehensive immigration reform continuously since 2002. For a brief time, our congressional delegation led the nation on this front. But no more.

Now, it seems our elected officials prefer to serve political expediency instead.

Those who failed Arizona:

JAN BREWER was looking out for her political future, not Arizona's best interests, when she signed the anti-immigrant law that ignores Arizona's Latino heritage and creates a backlash that will hurt the state's economic development. The governor's GOP primary race would have been tougher if she'd vetoed the bill, so she ducked her responsibility to the people of Arizona. Now, she gets a bump in the polls, and Arizona gets beat up on the international stage.

JANET NAPOLITANO came down with amnesia after she abandoned her job as governor of Arizona and moved to Washington, D.C., to be Homeland Security secretary. Ensconced in a Democratic administration, she forgot all the arguments she once used to demand that the Bush administration address immigration reform and reimburse Arizona for the costs of the broken border. Put in charge of Obama's effort to craft immigration reform, she couldn't get the thing out of neutral.

JOHN McCAIN, the one-time maverick and former champion of comprehensive immigration reform, also came down with a convenient loss of memory and principle. Facing a primary race against J.D. Hayworth, whose demagoguery on this issue is practiced and predictable, Sen. McCain became a man afraid of his own record. He locked himself behind a door marked "Do not disturb until the border is secure." Here's some straight talk the senator should understand: The border cannot be secured as long as the current irrational border policies remain unchanged.

JON KYL was also brave enough - once upon a time - to work across the aisle for the sake of achieving comprehensive immigration reform. Now, he has linked arms with McCain in stonewalling. There may be little political advantage in helping a Democratic president and Congress achieve what Republicans could not, but Sen. Kyl's role in GOP Senate leadership should not be more important than fixing what's broken in his own state.

J.D. HAYWORTH is the mouth that spewed when it comes to illegal immigration. The former congressman used his seat in the House and his radio show to pound his chest and shout down every attempt to discuss the genuine complexity of this issue. He hasn't changed. Fear and anger are his sidekicks. Self-promotion is his noble steed. His diatribes helped validate a wickedly distorted image of all migrant workers as heinous criminals.

PHIL GORDON lashed out against the law in shrill tones that did not serve his state or city. The Phoenix mayor made a flamboyant call to challenge the new law in court without first consulting the City Council, then vowed to go around his fellow elected city officials when they disagreed with him.

RUSSELL PEARCE probably has done more than anyone in the state to turn this from a complex public-policy discussion into what seems like law sketched on a cocktail napkin. This legislation, his brainchild, shows how a narrow focus on persecuting illegal immigrants blinds him to the consequences of what he is doing. We wonder if state Sen. Pearce even considered rights of legal residents and Latino citizens. Or if he cares how his law introduces real fear into real people's lives.

RAÚL GRIJALVA also fails to see beyond a narrow band of self-interest. As a representative of a heavily Latino district, he faced no political risk in responding to a divisive law with an equally divisive call for a national boycott of Arizona. Grijalva, a U.S. representative, must know that lost convention business will hurt Arizonans who are struggling to keep their jobs in these tough times. For a congressman to call for destruction of his own state's economy is irresponsible and beneath contempt.

JOE ARPAIO and ANDREW THOMAS, a showboat tag team as sheriff and county attorney, were responsible for ratcheting up the heat and dimming any light on this issue. Arpaio's immigration sweeps stirred anti-immigrant sentiment and made "driving while Latino" a suspicious activity. Thomas' decision to use a law aimed at criminal smugglers to prosecute illegal immigrants was a perversion of that law-enforcement tool.

These politicians - Republicans and Democrats - used this issue to bait voters. Voters should get wise and demand leadership and solutions.

Despite the turmoil and passion surrounding this issue, there is a broad consensus that immigration is a federal responsibility and it demands federal action. State laws cannot fix it.

There is also agreement that Arizona suffers disproportionately because of federal border policies, as was seen Friday when a Pinal County sheriff's deputy was ambushed and shot by suspected drug smugglers.

Arizona can no longer afford to tolerate elected officials who show so little interest in solving one of the state's most pressing issues. We need leaders who will push to enact comprehensive reform. We need Arizona leadership - as a delegation all working together -sponsoring and spearheading federal legislation to fix immigration.

Reform must secure the border so that the people entering this country are doing so legally and we know who they are. It must eliminate the access to jobs that migrants are willing to risk their lives to reach. It must include an efficient system to verify worker eligibility and tough sanctions for employers who hire the undocumented.

It must provide a path to legalization that has to be earned by the current undocumented population. If they choose not to earn it, they choose not to be citizens and live in this country.

Reform must create a legal pipeline for future workers that is demand-based and temporary. With a legal framework in place, there will be no reason to be in this country without permission. Foreigners who break our laws will be prosecuted, punished and deported.

Comprehensive reform will make the border safer. When migrant labor is channeled through the legal ports of entry, the Border Patrol can focus on catching drug smugglers and other criminals instead of chasing busboys across the desert.

Real leaders will have the courage to say that. Real leaders are what we need.

Arizona, our time for excuses is over.

Read more: Article


Vice President Joe Biden criticizes immigration law

Vice president speaks at Democratic fundraiser

by Beth Duckett - May. 2, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Vice President Joe Biden denounced the state's tough immigration law Saturday evening in a speech during a fundraiser for the Arizona Democratic Party.

Biden emerged at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix to speak about health-care reform, federal spending and immigration.

"Our immigration system is broken," Biden, the keynote speaker, told a crowd of about 700 Democratic supporters. "This is a federal responsibility we have not lived up to."

Miles away, protesters had gathered by the thousands to rail against the state's new immigration law, which requires police to ask about a person's immigration status if the officer suspects him or her to be in the country illegally.

Biden argued that Senate Bill 1070, signed into law April 23, will "only increase fear, suspicion and intolerance." He called it "misguided" and received a standing ovation when he said the government "cannot single out people just because of the way they look."

The annual Heritage Dinner for the Arizona Democratic Party also featured Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Attorney General Terry Goddard, a gubernatorial candidate.

Biden said he endorsed Goddard, who faces a tough challenge in majority support among Arizonans for the new immigration measure.

The dinner kicked off fundraising for the campaign season, a spokeswoman said.

Read more: Article

L.A.'s May Day immigration rally is nation's largest

As many as 60,000 immigrants and their supporters join a peaceful but boisterous march through downtown to City Hall, waving flags and holding signs blasting the harsh new immigration law in Arizona. Rally

By Teresa Watanabe and Patrick McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

May 1, 2010 | 7:25 p.m.

Galvanized by Arizona's tough new law against illegal immigrants, tens of thousands of marchers took to the streets in Los Angeles on Saturday as the city led the nation in May Day turnout to press for federal immigration reform.

As many as 60,000 immigrants and their supporters joined a peaceful but boisterous march through downtown Los Angeles to City Hall, waving American flags, tooting horns and holding signs that blasted the Arizona law. The legislation, which is set to take effect in midsummer, makes it a crime to be in Arizona without legal status and requires police to check for immigration papers.

Though the crowd was roughly half as large as police had projected, it was the largest May Day turnout since 2006, when anger over federal legislation that would have criminalized illegal immigrants and those who aid them brought out more than 1 million protesters nationwide. Since then, most activists have deemphasized street actions in favor of change at the ballot box through promoting citizenship and voter registration.

But this year is different. Outrage over the Arizona law, continued deportations and frustration over congressional delay in passing federal immigration reform prompted activists nationwide to urge massive street protests on this traditional day of celebrating workers' rights.

That call was heeded by marchers like Yobani Velasquez, a 32-year-old Guatemala native and U.S. legal resident. He said the Arizona law energized him to come out and join the Los Angeles march.

"It's a racist and unfair law," said the Sun Valley truck driver. "It hurts parents and children."

Rallies in more than 90 other cities drew thousands of people from New York to Phoenix. In Washington, D.C., thousands cheered as 35 immigration rights advocates, including U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), were arrested in front of the White House after they disobeyed police orders by sitting on the sidewalk along Pennsylvania Avenue, calling on President Obama to move immigration reform forward.

But the national epicenter for opposition to the Arizona law has become Los Angeles. City officials have called for a boycott of the state, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has likened the law to Nazism, and activists put aside past differences to stage a unified march. Five coalitions representing more than 150 labor, faith and immigrant rights organizations worked closely with Spanish-language media to publicize the call to rally, according to Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

"There was unanimous sentiment nationally and locally that we have to mobilize strong on May 1," Salas said. "It's a message to President Obama that we want immigration reform and an end to massive deportations of our community, and a special message to Republicans to stop getting in the way of reform and supporting hateful laws in Arizona."

But Ira Mehlman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a nonprofit group that supports tighter controls on illegal immigration, said most Americans don't support that message.

"What the public wants is enforcement of our immigration laws," Mehlman said. "They don't want people who break the law to be rewarded."

At the march's City Hall endpoint, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took the stage to raucous cheers. Speaking in English and Spanish, he called Los Angeles a "bilingual city" and expressed strong support for immigrants' rights.

Afterward, Mahony took the microphone. "Everyone in God's eyes is legal," he said. "We are all standing with our immigrant brothers and sisters."

Police reported only two arrests for minor offenses as the orderly crowd marched under sunny skies. Street vendors hawked American flags and bacon-wrapped hot dogs with onions and peppers. Union members blew horns and chanted "no human being is illegal" over the rhythmic melodies of a mariachi band.

In a major theme of the day, one man wore a white T-shirt reading "Todos Somos Arizona," or "We Are All Arizona."

Leon Franco, 38, a Sylmar construction worker who installs tile and marble flooring, draped an American flag around himself as he prepared to march Saturday morning.

"In Mexico, there's no way to get ahead," said Franco, a legal U.S. resident from the Mexican state of Hidalgo who moved to the United States in 1993. "Back home, I had a very poor life. If it wasn't for this country, I don't know where I'd be."

A year ago, Franco's wife, Rosa Moreno, an illegal immigrant, was arrested in Los Angeles and deported to her home state of Sonora in Mexico. Since then, Franco said, he has had to be "mother and father" to his stepson, Daniel Estrada, 14, and son, Johnny Franco, 12.

"My kids would like to have their mother here with them," he said. "I'm here because we don't want to happen to other kids what has happened to these two," pointing to his sons.

Morena Villanueva, 42, a Guatemala native, an illegal immigrant and a former carwash worker, held up a banner that read: "Wash away injustice."

She said her son, Luis Humberto Robles Villanueva, 21, was killed Thursday in Guatemala, and tearfully told how she couldn't return home to bury him.

"If I go back to Guatemala, I could never come back," she said. "My hope is that another parent will never have to suffer the way I have, to be unable to bury their child because they are illegal."

Victoria Vergara, a 53-year-old Mexico native and U.S. resident for 27 years, stood with a group of workers from the Westin Bonaventure and other hotels. Her brother, an illegal immigrant who runs a used-car business in Chicago, is afraid U.S. authorities will shut down his business and deport him after more than two decades here, she said.

"I was lucky. I was able to get amnesty in the 1986 law and now I'm an American citizen," she said. "We want President Obama to know that it's time to help these hard-working people who don't have papers, who have worked hard all their lives in this country and want to be good Americans."

The marchers also included African American union members, Korean drummers dressed in colorful traditional garb and even a white educator hoisting a sign that read "Gringos for Immigrants' Rights."

One illegal immigrant from South Korea, who asked to be identified by his first name, Jeff, said he came to protest the "broken-down immigration system."

"This does not just affect Latinos," said Jeff, wearing a white shirt that crossed out the word "minutemen." "This affects all communities."

In the hot seat of Arizona, rallies in Tucson and Phoenix drew hundreds of protesters.

In Tucson, organizers released a flock of doves and hundreds of white balloons, and Aztec dancers performed. Rally speakers included labor organizer Dolores Huerta and singer Linda Ronstadt.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, the Arizona congressman who has called for an economic boycott of the state, was received with boisterous cheers. "We are going to fight this law," he told the crowd.

A couple of dozen counter-protesters carried signs that read "Deport Illegal Mexicans," "Remember the Alamo, Mexico," "Boycott Mexico" and "Mexico Out of US."

Claudia White, 56, a Tucson resident and naturalized Mexican immigrant who organized the counter-protest, said she supported the Arizona law because she worried about the consequences of what she called "open-border policies." Recent immigrants, she said, show "less of an interest in how this country was originally set up — where everybody is an individual and doesn't identify as part of a group or a block or a race."

In Phoenix, where many activists were too exhausted by the fight against the bill to plan a unified event, a few thousand people poured onto the broad lawn in front of the state Capitol for what became a sort of daylong festival against SB 1070.

Vendors sold ices and mangoes, anarchists handed out literature about the right of indigenous people to travel freely, and families wheeled strollers carrying toddlers who chanted "Si se puede!"

A handful of people supporting the law trickled in during the day and often had to leave under police escort after being surrounded by agitated demonstrators.

Amelia Sally, a 35-year-old customer service representative, held a sign that read: "Got Your Papers? If So ... Welcome." She was disheartened at the way demonstrators around the country were bashing her state.

"Arizona's finally taking a stand," she said. "We've been begging for help."

Times staff writers Ruben Vives, Andrew Blankstein, Sam Quinones, Robert Faturechi and Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles, Paloma Esquivel in Tucson and Nicholas Riccardi in Phoenix contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

One question why on earth would Denver Public School employees travel to Arizona? Well other then for a nice warm vacation during the cold Denver winters. I guess they will have to move their winter trips to Los Angeles or Flordia!


Denver schools ban travel to Arizona to protest immigration law

Denver Public Schools superintendent cites concerns about harassment

Kim Posey KDVR Denver

DENVER - Denver Public Schools is banning all district sponsored travel to Arizona in the wake of the new immigration law enacted there. This will affect hundreds of teachers and staff members planning to attend conferences there.

"This legislation is an assault on human dignity and our core values," DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said. "We will not put our employees at risk of the arbitrary and potentially discriminatory harassment that can now occur in Arizona as a result of this reprehensible identity-document legislation. This is an issue of intense concern to our students, our employees, and their families. We encourage members of the DPS community and other school districts to join us with their voices and actions."

Boasberg is also forming a Community Advisory Committee to consider other measures the district might take.

These actions are questionable to other area leaders. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo says, "This is all just so political, and so blatantly out of their role and responsibility."

The Arizona law, approved by the state legislature and signed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status.

"This is an issue of intense concern to our students, our employees, and their families. We encourage members of the DPS community and other school districts to join us with their voices and actions," Boasberg said.

He said DPS is forming a community advisory committee to consider other measures the district might take.


Boston officials want city to boycott Arizona

by Russell Contreras - May. 3, 2010 03:15 PM

Associated Press

BOSTON — Boston should pull any investments from Arizona in protest over the state's recently passed controversial immigration law, two Boston city councilors said Monday.

City Council President Michael Ross and fellow Councilor Felix G. Arroyo said they are crafting a resolution asking city officials to identify city contracts and purchasing agreements with Arizona and Arizona-based companies, and end those agreements immediately. The resolution, scheduled to be filed Tuesday in time for a vote at Wednesday's city council meeting, also would ask city employees not to travel to Arizona for conferences or other city business.

The Arizona law requires local police to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

"This is not something that we support here in Boston, and we shouldn't have to support the state of Arizona through our scarce investment resources," Ross said.

Arroyo said the Arizona law legalized racial profiling, and he doesn't want the city associated with the state while that law is on the books.

"Look at me personally. I'm Latino, and I look Latino," Arroyo said. "I was born in Boston. If I was in Arizona ... they'd be able to stop me and ask me to prove citizenship? What does that mean? Do I have to walk around and carry my birth certificate in my back pocket?"

Ross said once city officials determine what investments the city has with Arizona, the city council may consider an official ordinance banning such investments.

Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles also are considering measures to boycott Arizona after the state last month passed its immigration law. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently suspended all non-essential travel for city employees going to Arizona.

Last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a follow-up bill approved by Arizona legislators that she says should ease concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling. But critics say the law still requires police to ask immigration-status questions during stops.

Giovanna Negretti, executive director of Oiste?, a Massachusetts group that encourages Latinos to run for office, said city councilors in Springfield and Lawrence — two cities with large Latino populations — are preparing resolutions that mirror Boston's

Read more: Article


SB 1070 upsets Ariz.’s only Hispanic governor

May 3, 2010 - 8:58AM

Tim Hacker, Tribune

Outside his Tucson home in the 1960s, a Mexican-American was doing yard work when law enforcement officers yelled at him in Spanish: “Do you have a card?” When he said no, they hollered: “Who do you work for?”

“The senorita inside,” the man shouted back, pointing toward the house — and referring to his wife. He tried to explain who he was, but they weren’t listening. Finally, he pointed them to a sign that said “Judge Castro.”

This was no illegal immigrant, no day laborer, no drug smuggler who snuck across the border. It was Raul Castro, a judge of Pima County Superior Court and former Pima County Attorney who would go on to serve as a U.S. Ambassador to three countries — El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina — and make state history by becoming Arizona’s only Mexican-American governor.

Decades before Gov. Jan Brewer would sign Senate Bill 1070, setting off a national firestorm of criticism, boycotts and lawsuits, Castro experienced the racism and discrimination that many believe Arizona’s sweeping new immigration law will cause for Hispanic citizens today.

“I love Arizona dearly, but as a young man 50 to 70 years ago, things were difficult for me,” Castro, now 93 and living in Nogales 50 yards from the border, told the Tribune Friday during a visit to Phoenix. “I couldn’t get a teaching job or a government job. My first job was in the mining business for $2.50 an hour. If you were blond and blue-eyed, you got $5.50. These are things I’ve fought my entire life.”

Over time, Mexican-Americans in Arizona overcame many such obstacles, he said. Now, he fears that progress will be set back by the new law that makes it a state crime to be here illegally — and puts pressure on law enforcement officers to check the citizenship status of people they suspect are illegal immigrants. The law’s critics contend this will lead to racial profiling of innocent people.

“Arizona had become a wonderful state,” Castro said. “But now, all of sudden, we’ve passed this terrible law. People I know in other states, family and friends, are calling me and asking, ‘What’s wrong with Arizona?’ They think it’s a racist state.”

Castro said he met with Brewer a week before the law was passed. She told him she’s concerned about Arizona.

“I’m concerned too. This affects me,” Castro said. “It’s not like I look Irish or Norwegian or Swede.”

Late Thursday, amid growing threats of lawsuits, state legislators tweaked the law to make it clear that police, when deciding whose citizenship to question, may not use race, ethnicity or national origin as a factor.

Those changes don’t go far enough to ease Castro’s concerns. He said there is an appropriate role in immigration for state government — such as calling for more National Guard to patrol the border, or the governors of Arizona and Sonora meeting and working together as a team to resolve problems.

But enacting actual immigration law, he maintains, is the federal government’s role.

“Arizona is trying to be like an independent country,” he said. “Arizona is not a sovereign nation. It’s part of the United States of America.”

And the federal government, he said, needs to take responsibility for securing the border.

“I think everyone recognizes that it’s not right for people to jump the fence and come in illegally. The federal government has done nothing about that,” Castro said.

He added, “We have abandoned Latin America. We spend all our time in the Middle East. We need more diplomacy. The presidents of Mexico and the United States should meet more often. Mexico should improve its wage scale and working conditions so people will want to live there. Our country should make an effort to help Mexico with this.”

On Friday, Castro met with students at University Public School in Phoenix, a school he estimated to be about 85 to 90 percent Hispanic. He often gives motivational speeches at schools about overcoming adversity, and recently wrote a book, “Adversity is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raul H. Castro.”

“I told the students, ‘You can succeed. You can learn English if you get motivated,’” he said. “If you’re just a follower, you do nothing. Be a leader.”

Sometimes, Hispanic students will tell the former governor that they can’t go to college because they are poor or “just an immigrant.” His response: “You can do lots of things — mow lawns and other jobs — if you want an education bad enough.”

Born in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, Castro and his family moved to Arizona when he was child, and he became a naturalized citizen in 1939, according to the National Governors Association website. He received an education degree from Northern Arizona University and a law degree from the University of Arizona.

Today he tries to impress upon students that they have more opportunities available to them than Mexican-Americans did when he was a young man.

“Fifty to 60 years ago, things were different. Every Hispanic I knew was digging ditches … Nobody worked in an office,” Castro said. “Education was the answer.”

But the new immigration law is giving some students doubts about their future in Arizona. “They say, ‘It’s embarrassing to walk around Phoenix and have police questioning my citizenship and my loyalty,’” he said.

Castro understands too well how they feel.

Sometime after serving as governor, he was returning to Arizona from San Diego when he was stopped by authorities and questioned for 30 minutes about his citizenship before they let him move on.

“It’s annoying to be in this country all your life, to be county attorney and judge and governor — and then be questioned by police,” Castro said.

But he tells the students that giving up and doing nothing is not the answer. Instead, he urges them to “be active, participate, be a leader, run for political office.”

Despite his own experience with discrimination and his belief that the new immigration law is unjust, Castro, who immigrated here nearly 84 years ago, still believes in his state and his country.

“The American public is a just public,” he said, “once you show them you are sincere and honest.”

Now I get it! Most Americans are RACISTS!


Immigration poll: People sympathetic but want security

by Alan Gomez - May. 4, 2010 12:00 AM

USA Today

Two-thirds of Americans want the government to do a better job of securing the borders, but they are sympathetic to illegal immigrants who have been working hard and staying out of trouble, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.

Eight in 10 Americans are concerned that illegal immigrants burden schools, hospitals and other government services, and 77 percent worry that they drive down wages, the poll finds.

Yet 77 percent are concerned that stricter laws would mean illegal immigrants and their families who have lived productively in the USA for years would be forced to leave.

The seeming contradiction reflects the difficulty in grappling with the issue, said Tomas Jimenez, a fellow at the non-partisan New America Foundation.

"On the one hand, they don't like the idea that people are breaking our immigration laws, that it appears we have a southern border that is out of control," Jimenez said. "On the other hand, they think the people coming here who work hard, who have dreams of a better life, are really participating in an American tradition that is as old as this country."

In the poll, 68 percent say it is extremely important or very important to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, and 67 percent say it is extremely or very important to develop a plan to deal with about 12 million illegal immigrants in the USA. Yet 74 percent are somewhat or very concerned that tougher immigration laws would lead to harassment of Hispanics.

Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the numbers mirror the federation's positions against citizenship for illegal immigrants and for denying them jobs and benefits. "Americans want enforcement, but they're fair-minded," he said.

Ali Noorani of the Reform Immigration for America campaign, which supports a process for some illegal immigrants to become citizens, sees a sympathetic response that recognizes a broken system. "People are frustrated, but they don't want to take their frustrations out on the immigrants," he said.

Other findings:

- Sixty-four percent are sympathetic to illegal immigrants. Of Democrats , 75 percent are sympathetic; among Republicans, 46 percent are.

- Eighty percent of all respondents are very or somewhat concerned that allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the USA might encourage others to move here illegally.

Read more: Article


No suspects yet in shooting of Pinal County Sheriff's deputy

by Dennis Wagner and Craig Harris - May. 4, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Four days after a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy reported being ambushed and wounded by marijuana smugglers in the southern Arizona desert, investigators appear to be stymied in their search for suspects.

Although 17 illegal immigrants were rounded up in an intense search southwest of Casa Grande, no one has been charged in the shooting of deputy Louie Puroll, who suffered a pair of flesh wounds to his left side.

Lt. Tamatha Villar, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, said the investigation was continuing, but said that detectives had no new leads.

Meanwhile, the Arizona National Guard said reports that one of its helicopters came under fire during Friday's search-and-rescue operation were not correct.

Lt. Valentine Castillo, a Guard spokesman, confirmed that a helicopter assigned to the state's Joint Counter Narco-Terrorism Task Force diverted from its mission on Friday after hearing radio calls to help Puroll and was first to locate the deputy.

At that point, Castillo said, a clipboard or other metal object within the aircraft apparently fell to the floor, causing a clattering noise. Crew members were at first unclear about the source of the noise and put out an alert that there might be gunfire in the area. During a debriefing, Castillo said, the crew realized what caused the confusion.

Villar said the clarification never reached Sheriff Paul Babeu, who told the media of a helicopter coming under fire during news briefings.

According to the sheriff, Puroll was on patrol in an off-road area about 5 miles south of Interstate 8 around 4 p.m. Friday when he came upon five men, at least one of whom opened fire with an assault rifle.

Babeu said Puroll suffered two minor wounds as he ducked for cover and returned fire. Babeu said Puroll believed he may have wounded one of the suspects.

About 200 law-enforcement personnel scoured the desert for more than 12 hours, using multiple helicopters and night-vision equipment.

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Arizona immigration law: 2 city councils to sue state

May. 4, 2010 11:52 PM

Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Another city council in Arizona has voted to sue over the new state immigration law.

The Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of the resolution before a crowd that initially numbered in the hundreds but dwindled significantly as the night wore on.

Earlier Tuesday, the Tucson City Council voted to sue Arizona in an effort to overturn the law.

The state law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

The Flagstaff resolution says it's an unfunded mandate to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government. The council's vote directs the city attorney to retain legal counsel.

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'White powdery substance' sent to Arizona governor's office

by Michael Ferraresi and Mary Jo Pitzl - May. 4, 2010 02:02 PM

The Arizona Republic

The FBI will assist in the investigation of a suspicious envelope addressed to Gov. Jan Brewer that an employee at the Capitol opened Tuesday, sending the Executive Tower into one-hour lockdown after a white powder spilled from the envelope onto a computer.

Phoenix Fire Department hazardous materials experts spent less than one hour in the building. No injuries or complaints of illness were reported and the tower was reopened around 11:20 a.m.

The letter was opened in the governor's constituency services office in the tower at 1700 W. Washington St.

The powder is being analyzed at a state Health Department lab. The results of the tests should be released Wednesday.

Andrew Staubitz, chief of the Arizona Capitol Police, said it was common for state or federal police to assist on such an investigation.

"Obviously we don't have all the resources (of the FBI)," Staubitz said. "They do assist in those kinds of things. Using the mail is a federal issue."

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Tucson council suing Ariz. over immigration law

May. 4, 2010 05:39 PM

Associated Press

TUCSON - The Tucson City Council has voted to sue Arizona and try to overturn its new immigration law.

The law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

Mayor Bob Walkup says much of Tucson's economy is derived from Mexican tourists who come to vacation and shop.

Council members say the cost to enforce the new immigration law will be overly excessive. They also say their suit won't cost taxpayers anything because it will be handled by Tucson staff attorneys, with assistance expected to come from other cities and counties that oppose the law.

Councilman Steve Kozachik voted against the suit. He says the law is clearly flawed and presents enforcement problems, but Arizona needs "to de-escalate the conversation" and a lawsuit runs counter to that goal.

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Los Phoenix Suns? They are still government parasites!

Los Suns? Hell the Phoenix Suns are a bunch of parasites that suck the government welfare tit big time! People should boycott them even if Arizona repeals its racist anti-Mexican law.


Political gesture by Phoenix Suns, a rarity in sports, angers many fans

by Craig Harris - May. 6, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

It is not in the same league as other major civil-rights protests in the history of sports, but Robert Sarver's decision to have his Phoenix Suns wear "Los Suns" jerseys Wednesday to protest Arizona's new immigration law is unusual.

That's the view of Richard O. Davies, a University of Nevada-Reno professor who specializes in sports history.

"Normally, sports figures are reluctant to stick their necks out," Davies said. "And it's very unusual for teams to take a stand."

Arizona was in the national spotlight again Wednesday after Sarver, the Suns' managing general partner, announced his team would wear the special uniforms in an outward expression of distaste for Arizona's new law.

Sarver, other team officials and players also criticized the law, which makes it a state crime to be in Arizona without proper documentation and requires local police to check the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants.

The move got the attention of President Barack Obama, who made reference to the jerseys Wednesday in a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House. But it also got the attention of some irate fans - there is substantial public support for the law in Arizona - and conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who called the move sad and shortsighted.

One outraged fan told The Arizona Republic that she shredded her four lower-level tickets to Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs in protest. Meanwhile, 84 letters to the editor were sent to The Republic on Wednesday, 79 opposed to Sarver's decision.

"I'm very unhappy, and I don't think they should get involved," said Roger Gibbard, who lives outside Queen Creek and has been a Suns fan since 1981.

Yet Davies, the professor, said sports figures have played major roles in civil-rights movements over the years. He pointed to Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947, the Black Power salute by U.S. sprinters at the 1968 Olympics, and boxer Muhammad Ali's refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.

Sports figures have a unique ability, given their popularity, to turn the spotlight on key issues, whether viewed through a moral or political lens.

Davies said Sarver's decision is nowhere close to the historical events in which sports figures fought to eliminate racial barriers, but "it's out of the ordinary" because most teams don't want to take stands, regardless of the principles involved, that might alienate fans who buy tickets and merchandise.

The professor added that most superstar athletes, notably basketball's Michael Jordan, have refused to take political or social stands for fear of alienating those who buy products they endorse.

Sarver's decision clearly created a firestorm. By midday Wednesday, he no longer wanted to talk about it. He also declined to answer questions about whether the decision could hurt the team financially.

"I'm not going to go there," he said. "I don't have any more public comments."

Rick Welts, the team's chief executive, said fans appeared to be split on the issue. He said the response was "exactly what we expected." The team has no plans to wear the "Los Suns" jerseys for the rest of the best-of-seven-game series with the Spurs, Welts said.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, meanwhile, said she was surprised that the Suns had denounced the immigration law, given the bill was "debated publicly for four months" at the Capitol.

"I don't recall the Phoenix Suns ever taking a position in an open public discussion on this," said Paul Senseman, the governor's spokesman. Senseman called some of the comments made by Suns General Manager Steve Kerr comparing the law to Nazi Germany "ugly" and "hateful."

Down the street from US Airways Center, the Arizona Diamondbacks , who have been the target of protests on the road during the past two weeks, plan to wear "Los D-Backs" jerseys on Sept. 4 to honor Hispanic Heritage Day. The team has worn those jerseys the past two years for special occasions and planned, before the immigration law was signed, to wear them again in September.

Republic reporter Ginger Rough contributed to this article.

Reach the reporter at or 602-444-8478.

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Poll: Latinos in U.S. legally say they will be targeted

by Alia Beard Rau - May. 6, 2010 03:12 PM

The Arizona Republic

A new poll commissioned by the National Council of La Raza indicated that Latino voters strongly oppose Arizona's new illegal immigration law, worried that those in the country legally will be stopped and believed police will target Latinos for questioning.

Respondents had mixed feelings about whether the new law would deter them from reporting crimes or if people should boycott Arizona.

La Raza, a Washington, D.C.-based Hispanic civil-rights and advocacy group, has been a vocal opponent of Senate Bill 1070. A news release from La Raza and polling group Latino Decisions states that the intent of the poll was to understand Latino views towards the new law, which was signed into law April 23 and goes into effect July 29.

The law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local police to enforce federal immigration laws. It will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce an alien registration document, such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship, such as a passport or Arizona driver's license.

Faculty at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University were involved in conducting the poll, according to the release.

The poll involved questioning Latino registered voters in Arizona between April 30 and May 5. It has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. The release did not indicate the poll's methodology.

• Respondents were asked which two issues they thought President Obama and Congress should address over the next year. Immigration got 59 percent of the support, the economy got 22 percent and health care got 17 percent.

• When asked if they supported or opposed SB 1070, 70 percent indicated they strongly opposed it, 11 percent somewhat opposed, 4 percent somewhat supported it and 12 percent strongly supported it. Support of the law increased with each generation the respondent's family had been in the United States.

• When asked if "people should boycott Arizona-based companies or stop doing business with the state to send a message," 55 percent indicated agreement and 41 percent indicated disagreement.

• When asked how likely it is that Latinos who are legal immigrants or U.S. citizens will get stopped or questioned by police, 85 percent indicated it was likely and 14 percent indicated it was not likely.

• When asked if police would primarily choose people because they are Latino when deciding to stop and question, 72 percent indicated that they agreed and 27 percent indicated they disagreed.

• When asked if they agreed that "if most of the immigrants in Arizona were White Europeans, this law would not have been passed," 76 percent indicated they agreed and 21 percent disagreed.

• When asked if they would be less likely to report a crime or volunteer information to the police in the future, 47 percent indicated agreement and 50 percent disagreed.

Several other polls conducted by different outlets suggested a majority of voters support the new law.


Labor unions, civil-rights groups boycott Arizona

by Erin Kelly - May. 6, 2010 11:33 AM

Republic Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Leaders of national labor unions and civil rights groups said Thursday that they will boycott Arizona until the state's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law is repealed, overturned by the courts or superseded by congressional passage of comprehensive reform.

The vice president of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union said the union will not hold major conventions, conferences or other special events involving significant travel to Arizona from outside the state.

"By issuing an extensive boycott of meetings and conventions in Arizona, we are sending a clear message that working families want serious solutions to our immigration problems - not frivolous policies that undermine public safety, waste millions of taxpayer funds and imperil our most basic civil rights," said Eliseo Medina, international executive vice president of the SEIU, the nation's fastest-growing union.

That message was echoed by representatives of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the National Council of La Raza, the Asian American Justice Center, the Center for Community Change, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Puerto Rican Coalition, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Coalition leaders also called on other unions, community-based organizations, corporations, churches, student groups and individuals to join the boycott.

In addition, the union and civil rights leaders called for Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona.

A spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza said group leaders weighed their decision to participate in the boycott carefully because they knew it could hurt innocent Arizonans whose jobs would be affected by a decrease in travel and commerce.

"We are very aware that an action like this can hurt people who oppose the law or who are the intended victims of the law," said Clarissa Martinez, the group's director of immigration and national campaigns. "We talked to our affiliated groups in Arizona, with our board, with our corporate sponsors, and the response was overwhelming that we needed to take action. The impact of this law and what it's creating with copycat legislation in a number of other states far outweighs the short-term impact of a boycott."

Arizona's immigration law, scheduled to take effect by August, makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local police to enforce federal immigration laws. It will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce an alien registration document, such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship, such as a passport or Arizona driver's license.

Martinez said the boycott is meant to send a message beyond Arizona to states that are considering adopting similar laws.

"We want them to see that this is going to cost them and that this is not the way to go," she said.

A poll commissioned by the National Council of La Raza found that 55 percent of registered Latino voters in Arizona supported a boycott, while 41 percent did not. The poll was conducted of about 400 voters from April 30 to May 5 and had a margin of error of about 5 percentage points.

The Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association and the Arizona Tourism Alliance have issued a statement saying boycotts are unfair to the state's travel industry and its 200,000 employees.

"The tourism industry was not part of the development of this legislation, but unfortunately is certain to experience the unintended consequences of the economic backlash," the groups said in a statement. "As we've seen many times in recent years, tourism is being used as leverage for a political issue with no direct connection to our industry."

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., this week also condemned boycotts.

"At a time when we are pushing to create jobs and get our economy going again, this could stop Arizona's recovery in its tracks," the congresswoman said in a press release issued Wednesday.


Migrant border deaths rose in '09, 1st time in 4 years

by Suzanne Gamboa - May. 6, 2010 04:09 PM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The number of people who died trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border last year rose to 417 - the first increase in four years - despite declines in apprehensions, according to an advocacy group.

The number of deaths hit a peak of 492 in 2005, but had fallen every year since then to a low of 390 in 2008, the National Foundation for American Policy said Thursday, citing U.S. Border Patrol statistics.

Meanwhile, apprehensions of illegal immigrants trying to cross the southern border fell to 538,000 last year, down from 705,022 the previous year. Apprehensions peaked at 1.17 million in 2005, according to the foundation, which supports increasing visas for people to legally come to the U.S.

A lack of U.S. jobs and tighter enforcement are thought to be reasons for the steady drops in apprehensions.

Last October, the Border Patrol had reported 378 deaths for 11 months of fiscal year 2009 and warned the final number for the full year was likely to be higher.

Fortification of the nearly 2,000-mile border has forced migrants to enter the U.S. at areas with more difficult terrain, making crossing the border illegally more deadly. Men, women and children are among the dead each year.

Stuart Anderson, the foundation's executive director, said the deaths reflect flawed enforcement policies that don't provide enough opportunity for migrants to enter the country legally.

Anderson was uncertain whether the increase is related to escalating drug-related violence in Mexico. The Border Patrol was analyzing its own data to determine whether drug violence had an affect on the numbers.

The Border Patrol regularly rescues migrants who are felled by searing heat; swept up in river waters that serve as the international border; perish in attacks by gangs or wildlife, or other scenarios.

The Border Patrol rescued 1,277 people near the Southwestern border last year, the foundation reported.

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Arizona immigration law leads feds to weigh rare legal fight

by Erin Kelly - May. 7, 2010 12:00 AM

Republic Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - If U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder decides to challenge Arizona's tough new immigration-enforcement law in court, it will be a rare and likely powerful test of a state law by the federal government.

Legal experts say the federal government typically sits back and watches as private groups challenge controversial state laws. When the government does wade into the fray, it usually is as a supporter of a case brought by a private party.

But in the case of Arizona's law, which makes it a crime to be in the state illegally, Holder already has signaled that he is likely to file a challenge. It would be among just a handful of recent times, court watchers say, that the federal government has directly challenged a state law.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, said the Justice Department actively and successfully challenged state measures during the civil-rights era to overturn election laws in the South that were aimed at preventing African-American citizens from voting.

"There also have been instances of the federal government challenging state prisons for violating prisoners' constitutional rights," he said.

Three lawsuits have been filed to challenge the Arizona law, and more are expected. The law, which takes effect July 29, requires police to check documents of people they reasonably suspect to be undocumented. Critics say the law can lead to racial profiling, although Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the law-enforcement community will be trained to avoid that.

Last month, President Barack Obama called the law misguided and said he had ordered the Justice Department to review it for possible civil-rights violations.

"It's particularly strange to see the federal government step in when so many different groups are moving to challenge the law," said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional-law expert at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. "I think part of the reason is political. The White House clearly wants to signal its opposition to the law."

Still, when the federal government does intervene, it is more common for it to let a private party take the lead and to support that party by filing a friend-of-the-court brief, legal experts say.

That was the case in 1940, when the Justice Department supported private citizens who challenged the constitutionality of a Pennsylvania state law that required all non-citizens 18 years or older to register with the state once a year, carry an alien-registration card with them at all times and show that card whenever it was demanded by a police officer or a state official. Aliens who refused to register could be fined and jailed.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1941 that the Pennsylvania law was unconstitutional, in part because the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government, not the states, the power over immigration, naturalization and deportation.

If Holder did challenge the Arizona law, he would use the same argument. And, constitutional-law experts say, it would carry greater weight in court coming from the Department of Justice .

"The DOJ could make that argument with much greater authority than a private litigant because the DOJ is directly involved with the enforcement of immigration law," said William G. Ross of Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Ala.

Courts also tend to give a degree of deference to federal claims that state laws are creating conflict with federal enforcement, Turley said.

"Private groups will also be alleging that this conflict exists, but that's much less direct or compelling than the federal government making those arguments itself," Turley said.

That doesn't mean that the federal government could successfully challenge the Arizona law.

"But the federal government could have an advantage because they could be seen as having more credibility," said Andy Hessick, associate professor of law at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

"They tend to be a little more careful than private groups in the suits that they bring. So, the mere fact that the United States government has decided to step in will make the court take notice."

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2 Mexican universities halt student program at UA

by Chris Hawley and Anne Ryman - May. 7, 2010 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Two Mexico universities have suspended their student-exchange programs with the University of Arizona because of concerns over Arizona's new immigration law.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico says it will no longer send students to the UA as part of academic-exchange programs because of fears they will be harassed, said Francisco Marmolejo, the UA's assistant vice president for western hemisphere programs.

The Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí, a state college in eastern Mexico, also has suspended all exchange programs, he said.

The decision immediately affects 14 students who were scheduled to visit this summer - four nursing students from San Luis Potosí and 10 scientific researchers from UNAM, as the national college is known. The University of Arizona has about 200 Mexican students, he said.

"We respect their decision and understand their concerns," Marmolejo said. UA President Robert Shelton has sent a letter to both universities expressing disappointment.

UNAM, with more than 290,000 students, is one of Latin America's biggest university systems. The Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí has 18,000 students.

Officials at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University said on Thursday that no universities have backed out of agreements because of Senate Bill 1070. The law is scheduled to take effect July 29. It makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local police to check the immigration status of people they suspect to be undocumented.

The law has been controversial at Arizona's three state universities. Combined, they educate about 130,000 students, including large numbers of international students. Some university officials worry the law could have a chilling effect on prospective students.

ASU President Michael Crow had asked Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the legislation. On Monday, NAU's Faculty Senate approved a resolution condemning the law. Shelton sent a letter on Thursday to students, faculty and staff in which he called the law a "flawed public policy that sends all the wrong messages about our state."

UA officials say the families of at least a half-dozen out-of-state honor students told university officials they are changing plans and will send their children to universities in other states.

The UA has academic-exchange agreements with 31 Mexican universities and has been in contact with all of them about the law, Marmolejo said. No other universities have canceled exchange agreements, he said.

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