Wave of opposition builds against Arizona law


A wave of opposition to Arizona's anti-immigrant law continues to swell from elected officials, civil rights groups, entertainers and attorneys who say the measure is discriminatory and unconstitutional and invites racial profiling.

On Thursday attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) announced their partnership to challenge the controversial law in court.

"The Arizona community can be assured that a vigorous and sophisticated legal challenge will be mounted, in advance of SB 1070's implementation, seeking to prevent this unconstitutional and discriminatory law from ever taking effect," said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel, in a press statement.

Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of Arizona's ACLU added, "This law will only make the rampant racial profiling of Latinos that is already going on in Arizona much worse."

"If this law were implemented, citizens would effectively have to carry ‘their papers' at all times to avoid arrest," she noted. "It's a low point in modern America when a state law requires police to demand documents from people on the streets."

The law will deter immigrants from speaking to the police, said Linton Joaquin, general counsel for the NILC. "The inevitable result is not only to make immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation, but also to make the entire community less safe, by aggressively discouraging witnesses and victims from reporting crimes," he said.

The groups note the law also infringes on the constitutional supremacy of the federal government, by interfering with federal immigration power and authority.

Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta said, "What we are witnessing today is the blatant targeting of an entire American population, Latinos."

Huerta added, "We must not give in one inch to Arizona's effort to blame our community for all the ills of the state or their efforts to run us out. We have worked this land, built and maintained these buildings and sacrificed as much as any other. We must put an end to SB 1070."

Multi-Grammy-winning artist and human rights advocate Linda Ronstadt said, "My family, of both German and Mexican heritage, has a long history in Arizona. It has been our diverse and shared history in this state that unites us and makes us stronger. What Gov. Brewer signed into law last week is a piece of legislation that threatens the very heart of this great state. We must come together and stop SB 1070 from pitting neighbor against neighbor to the detriment of us all."

Colombian singer Shakira met with the police chief and mayor of Phoenix this week to raise concerns that the law violates human and civil rights. "It goes against all human dignity," she said.

And at the Billboard Latin Music Awards Thursday evening in Puerto Rico, many Latin American artists denounced the law on live television, including pop star Ricky Martin, saying, "It makes no sense."

In Chicago dozens of protestors demonstrated outside Wrigley Field Thursday as the Cubs began a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Many said they support a national call to economically boycott the state.

Since the Arizona bill was signed, three lawsuits have been filed against it.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has indicated the federal government, with President Obama's support, may challenge the law.

At least three Arizona cities - Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson - are also considering legal action to block the law.

Although Obama called the measure "misguided" and irresponsible, he said the likelihood of passing immigration reform legislation this year is slim, because congressional lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to tackle immigration especially with upcoming midterm elections.

However immigrant rights leaders say reform cannot wait and efforts to push legislation through Congress are critical as thousands continue to be rounded up and separated from their familys every day.

Latino voters are closely watching where their elected representatives stand on the issue and expect them to act with courage, Latino leaders say. And they plan to utilize the power of their vote come November, they say.

According to federal data there were an estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. on January 1, 2009. Others claim there are over 12 million.

Studies note most immigrants living in the U.S. are from Latin America, with some 6.7 million from Mexico and 1.33 million from Central American nations El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

In 2009 the total population of Arizona totaled 6.6 million, including an estimated 460,000 undocumented immigrants.

Hundreds of vigils and mass protests are under way nationwide against the Arizona law and hundreds of thousands are expected to join demonstrations across the country on May 1.

Photo: Immigrant rights activists chanting "Boycott Arizona" protest outside Wrigley Field in Chicago as the Arizona Diamondbacks opened a four-game series against the Cubs, April 29. (AP/Nam Y. Huh)


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  • California it's claim to be the next state to start thinking about the same law as Arizona. Workers, students, and more, citizen or immigrant should get together to prove we are together, one of the things people started doing was putting a day when Latin students should not go to school in Arizona, California, Texas, New Mexico and more. Today there were claim a lot of students did not went to school in certain places we still don't have a complete coverage but we actually new this would happen. High school students, college students and etc, thank you for being part of this let's show them we are together in any place of the United States, our United States. "Si se PUEDE". Soon a day for workers would be official let's prove them we can do our job.

    Posted by No to Arizona's law, 05/17/2010 7:47pm (6 years ago)

  • Draconian legislation like SB 1070 is a threat to all of us!

    The social woes of the U.S. are clearly the effects of Wall Street bosses who profit at the expense of the working class. As a result of their greed U.S. workers have lost jobs, their homes. School systems, local and state governments have had to lay off workers and cut back on needed services across the nation! This is the true crime!

    Hitler used a similar strategy during an economic crisis in 1930's Germany. He scapegoated the Jews, the communists, socialists, trade unionists and anyone else he suspected of being able to organize resistance to his fascist tyranny! We must not allow the right to do the same here! We must not forget the principle of "An injury to one is an injury to ALL!"

    Posted by Pancho Valdez, 05/04/2010 12:17pm (6 years ago)

  • Richard, enjoy your cheap goods and labor while you can. Workers on both sides of the border are getting wise to the fact that you, Pepe, and the CPUSA support nothing less than "capitalism lite". If Marx was right, you're toast.

    Posted by Marcello, 05/03/2010 7:44pm (6 years ago)

  • Shellys

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 05/03/2010 1:51am (6 years ago)

  • On this 3rd day of May,it is unspeakably sad that we see vastly ignorant comments to this outstandingly positive article by brother Pepe Lozano,pointing out the discriminatory,racist,and illegal nature of SB 1070.
    On discriminatory,illegal racist law,on this day,in 1948 "Restrictive Covenants"were struct down in St.Louis,MO and Detroit,MI ,by the Supreme Court of the U.S.,through the 14th amendment. The St.Louis case is known as Shelly v Kraemer.
    During MLK celebrations in St.Louis this year the work of Margaret Bush Wilson,who worked the case,was honored,along with other labor,civil and human rights champions.
    So along with the ACLU,MALDEF and NILC we might add the NAACP as a possible supporter of the struggle against this draconian law in Arizona.
    President Obama and Attorney General Holder may consider the 14th amendment as a source of legal reference here,as the Supreme Ct. did in 1948 with Shelly.
    The Shelly's were an African American working-class family from Mississippi and the "restriction"they fought applied to Asian Americans and African Americans in St.Louis.
    Just as surely as SB 1070 applies to Latino Americans and immigrants,covenants affecting Asians and African Americans apply to the working-class-Latinos,Asians and Africans-all,Americans and potentials-which the CPUSA is,by its Constitution is bound to support.
    The massive unity in struggle generated by the national struggles on the Arizona issue,the historic struggles of the Asian and African American peoples,offer a gleaming setting for the 29th National Convention of the CPUSA,alongside a rising tide of struggle to consolidate the 2008 electoral victory of an Obama administration for the peoples of the United States of America.
    Unity,Unity and more unity would be the clarion call of this Convention,for economic justice and the social peace it brings in its wake.
    Peace,Justice and success to the 29th National Convention of the CPUSA,as we fight SB 1070.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 05/03/2010 1:48am (6 years ago)

  • There seems to be a concerted effort from some people on the far right to go into left leaning forums and promote Arizona's "Driving While Latino" bill, along with an anti-immigration reform agenda in general. It's in every single forum I've seen. They comment only on the immigration articles, but it wouldn't surprise me if they branched out. Heads up, guys.

    Posted by Tom, 05/03/2010 1:04am (6 years ago)

  • No offense to like the one sane person who posted (or rather double posted) two things on this article but what the flying fizz are you people on? The person who typed out a long 'O noes, enforcing laws' rant is blatantly baiting or just really really really desperate for attention.

    Do not get me started on the person at top screaming Newsflash! Because that logic just...well isn't, it doesn't make sense because CPUSA exists a labor union so try again, fucker.

    You really need to regulate your news article for the crazy Republican posters or people looking for fifteen seconds of fame, communism sadly is still branded as bad by most southerners due to that bullshit McCarthy spewed during the Red Scare still being firmly burned into their peanut sized minds.

    The ones who tell us to 'go back to Russia' just make me giggle because Russia is currently democratic and on top of that currently dealing with massive amounts of crime.

    Posted by Richard, 05/02/2010 9:48pm (6 years ago)

  • Newsflash! There's a difference between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. It's common practice to lump them all together, especially among bourgeois elitist organizations like the CPUSA. But now that we've clarified the matter, I trust that you will not make the same mistake again, yes?

    Unless, of course, you've become so accustomed to cheap goods and services that the idea of paying a fair wage to legal residents of the United States has become unpalatable. After all, you'd have to make adjustments to your lifestyle, and that would be a terrible injustice.

    But just to warn ya: if the working classes ever unite, you guys are in big trouble!

    Posted by Marcello, 05/01/2010 8:53am (6 years ago)

  • “O noes! Somebody's enforcing the laws, get them quick and put them in the FEMA camps! Keep applying the Harper Valley PTA Progressive Hypocrisy in this situation and you're likely to find out that you're not a part of mainstream America, just a sad little fringe group of malcontents. The people who's rights you trample today will probably trample your's tomorrow.

    Now back to the "Boycott Arizona" stuff, I'm soooooo looking forward to "LETS PLAY BOYCOTT! Too bad my Democratic brethren tend to forget about boycotts once they're distracted by their next ill advised affair (LOL). I still hold a grudge against Jane Fonda and I wasn't even born when she pissed off America, but my "Hippie Democrat" parents raised me to have contempt for all enemies of America. California is on my permanent sh*tlist. I wasn't comfortable with them electing The Governator, but boycotting their entire state because THEIR electorate voted him into office would have been highly un-democratic. Watching them stick their nose into their NEIGHBOR'S business is the excuse I needed to permanently boycott California. Glad this happened after Coachella, I'll miss the music but I won't miss the mess! I've already tossed my California wines and called off my yearly trip to SF gay pride parade since those "don't boycott me" but "let's boycott them" progressives opened their mouths to say something stupid. Who's next? Chicago, New York, possibly the Denver homophobes that are starting to speakup?

    Yes indeed people, LET'S PLAY BOYCOTT!”

    Posted by AreYouHighOrWhat, 04/30/2010 3:46pm (6 years ago)

  • Posted by RR, 04/30/2010 3:46pm (6 years ago)

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