Protesters gathered at various places throughout Phoenix Thursday to express opposition to the implementation of Arizona’s new immigration law. They demonstrated despite U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s injunction against key parts of the law.
“The partial injunction … didn’t take care of the problem,” said Steve Russell, a sociology senior who protested outside the Madison Street Jail. “The problem is the bill.”
On Wednesday, Bolton blocked certain provisions of the bill from going into effect. The enforcement of these sections will be put on hold at least until the court makes a final ruling.
The blocked provisions include one that requires officers to determine the immigration status of persons detained and arrested if the officer believes them to be in the country illegally, and one that requires immigrants to carry their “alien registration papers” at all times.
Despite these setbacks to the immigration law’s implementation, Senate Bill 1070 opponents still decided to take to the streets and demonstrate their unhappiness with Arizona’s new law.
“This is injustice,” Russell said. “The immigration policies are broken.”
Protesters lined up in front of the jail as well as the Capitol building with pickets and chants floating throughout the crowd.
“Show me what democracy looks like,” said a protester through a megaphone. The crowd screamed back, “This is what democracy looks like.”
As armor-clad officers began lining the street, protesters started chanting, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”
Opponents of the immigration law arrived from different parts of the country to lend their support.
“We’re here to support the community, ‘cause whatever happens in Arizona happens in California happens in New Jersey happens in Florida,” said David Gomez, who arrived with friends from San Diego to protest. “It’s our people they’re messing with. Not just the Mexican people, but the ‘hard working’ people.”
Though opponents view the injunction as a minor victory, many feel that the war for immigration reform must continue to be waged.
“I think the injunction was a step in the right direction, but [to] completely getting rid of this [law] I think is a good thing, and working on immigration reform,” said Sarah Norman, an ASU junior double majoring in women and gender studies and justice studies.
Norman said she feels that working out a way to grant amnesty to undocumented migrants would be the best way to handle this situation, and that it isn’t right for people to be uprooted from their homes.
“No human is illegal. It’s not fair; it’s not right,” Norman said. “I think it’s our responsibility to start fresh and create new laws that will help the people [enter the United States legally].”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer filed an appeal against the preliminary injunction on Wednesday, and requested the appeal to be handled quickly.
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