Francisco Lopez and Edward Ortiz stood before the state Capitol Sunday with identical cardboard signs raised above their heads.
The signs summed up their message in a one-word question.
Below the word, a large arrow drawn on each sign pointed down at the sign holders.
Lopez and Ortiz were among the thousands of protesters that gathered at the Capitol throughout the weekend, showing their disapproval over immigration legislation Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Friday.
Brewer signed SB 1070, a measure that makes illegal immigration a state crime.
The controversy surrounding the bill is mostly focused on the first few lines of the text, which states that upon lawful contact, a law enforcement official must make a “reasonable attempt” to determine a person’s immigration status if “reasonable suspicion exists” that he or she is in the country illegally. Some say this is will lead to racial profiling.
After the bill was signed on Friday, protesters and supporters chanted at each other across a line of caution tape.
“We have rights!” shouted anti-1070 demonstrators.
“No you don’t!” the pro-group responded.
Lopez said the legislation makes people of color a target for police.
“Everybody has an equal right … everybody has a right to live their life, not be judged, not be prejudiced against each other,” Lopez said. “We’re just human beings. Nothing different.”
Before Brewer signed the bill Friday, President Barack Obama called Arizona’s legislation “misguided” and said the bill threatens the trust between law enforcement officials and community members.
“I’ve instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil implications of this legislation,” he said.
Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said the bill makes Hispanics “second-class citizens” in the state.
“And we will not stand for that,” she said to reporters Friday, shortly after Brewer’s signing.
State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said the governor’s motive for signing the bill was political.
“She is, after all, facing a primary election in August,” Sinema said. “The political party she represents has chosen this as the issue to divide Arizona’s people.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio responded to Obama’s comments Saturday, saying he did not understand why the president was getting involved in Arizona’s affairs.
“This is Arizona,” he said. “The people here — 78 percent want this law.”
According to a Rasmussen telephone survey released Wednesday, 70 percent of likely voters in Arizona approve of SB 1070, while 23 percent oppose it.
Arpaio said that in the last three years, more than 38,000 illegal immigrants had been investigated, detained or arrested by his office.
“This new law will give us a little more authority,” he said.
ASU President Michael Crow voiced his opinion in a letter sent to Brewer Friday prior to the bill’s signing.
In the letter, Crow said the measure takes a “wrong-headed approach” that could lead to a deterioration of civil relations in Arizona.
“By enacting this bill, Arizona sends a signal to the rest of the world that, as a result of deficient national immigration policy, it is willing to impose egregious state laws on the citizens of Arizona solely for the purpose of demonstrating the depth of its frustration with the stresses and strains that it attributes to the failures of the federal government,” Crow said.
Several groups and government bodies like the American Civil Liberties Union and the City of Phoenix have already said they will bring legal action against the state.
“We’ll go to court,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon told a crowd of demonstrators Sunday. “We’ll go to the state court. We will go to the federal court. We will go all the way to the Supreme Court.”
Still, Gordon urged out-of-state protesters and organizers not to take part in boycotts because such an action would “harm us all,” including the people fighting in the courtroom.
But Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who also attended Sunday’s rally at the capitol, said a boycott might be the answer to changing Arizona’s stance on immigration.
“Arizona, it is time for you to march into the 21st century or you too will be boycotted across this nation,” Gutierrez said.
The largest demonstration against the legislation took place Friday, when thousands rallied at the Capitol and a few confrontations occurred between police and protesters. At least two people were arrested for throwing water bottles at police, and another man was arrested for stealing an ice cream cart from a vendor selling to demonstrators. No injuries were reported at Friday’s demonstration.
More protesting is expected to occur in the weeks to come. The bill will become law 90 days after the current legislative session ends.
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