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Sharpton vows to protest Arizona immigration bill

The Rev. Al Sharpton and New York-area Hispanic leaders vowed Sunday to fight Arizona’s new immigration law through legal challenges and with civil disobedience if those challenges fail.

Sharpton said that just as freedom riders battled segregation in the 1960s, he would organize “freedom walkers” to challenge the Arizona bill that requires police to question people about their immigration status if they suspect someone is in the country illegally.

“We will go to Arizona when this bill goes into effect and walk the streets with people who refuse to give identification and force arrest,” Sharpton said.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the immigration bill Friday. It will take effect in late July or early August.

President Barack Obama has called the new law “misguided” and has instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it’s legal. Civil rights advocates have vowed to challenge the law in court, saying it would lead to racial profiling.

But 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.

Supporters of the law say Arizona’s example will force the federal government to take steps to seal the border.

The activists who joined Sharpton at a news conference in lower Manhattan said they would support legal challenges that will be filed in Arizona and they are prepared to commit civil disobedience if those efforts fail.

“We’re going to walk without documentation to show how unconstitutional this law is and how it’s really a violation of our civil rights,” said Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, president of the Hispanic Federation. “It reminds me of Nazi Germany, when people were stopped in the street and told show your papers.”

Catherine Torres, president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, said association members are ready to lend their legal expertise to fighting the law.

“It profiles an entire community,” she said.

Sharpton said he would also support calls for a boycott of Arizona. He called on civil rights and religious organizations not to hold conventions in the state.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

8 comments

  1. So what is Rev Al Sharpton proving? It’s okay to break the law if you FEEL that it is wrong? How about letting the LEGAL citizens spread the word to
    the ILLEGALS to go back home? How can anyone from New York, Florida or
    anywhere else east of the Mississippi River understand the problems we are
    having in the border states, i.e., Calif., New Mexico, Arizona and Texas?
    This is nothing more than a power grab for the Democrats to help the illegals and get them to vote for Democrats (Dummycrats) in the future to make certain they have Governmental control dor decades!

  2. Amazing – the tail threatening to wag the dog! Read SB 1070 before you come to Arizona.

    God bless the USA

    Rosey
    Phoenix

  3. GO AZ, GO OTHER STATES, We need the law here in CA, our lives are heavily affected by illegals, for example to send kids to school we have to spend tons of money to avoid public schools filled with illegals or kids of. Why do we even pay taxes? Time for America to remove the freeloaders.

  4. to all who belive that illegal immigrat do not pay taxes they are wrong first of all even if they use fake social security numbers when they get a job (cleaning toilets cutting trees etc)they must pay federal and state taxes and there will be no returns because they are not real numbers but the money it is and still money still use for federal and state spending.second of all illegal immigrant are unable to earn more than 10 thousend dollars per year this is because the hard labor they do(cleaning toilets,floors etc) are not paid well for this reason they should get tax returns but instead they are force to pay federal goberment tax money they dont complain about it and last most of them ask for the ITIN NUMBER (IRS INDIVIDUAL TAX PAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER) which is use for reporting taxes and paying their taxes

  5. @ Domingo, I used to live in Arizona. I worked with a lot of illegals and I know for a fact that they claim the most number of dependents, hence they get the least amount of money taken out of their check. Most of them don’t get but $15 taken out at a time every paycheck and what about those who get paid cash or under the table? They don’t pay taxes. And they pay for those fake ID’s so these illegals increase criminal activity. What about that illegal who came in here and was riding the train and would kill someone in every state that he stopped at. What about the rancher who got killed not too long ago. And how hypocritical of the Mexican president to try to condemn this law when the country of Mexico are very strict on illegal aliens? You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Illegal is not a race, it is a crime, there are laws in place allready against illegal entry in the US, this will just make sure that it is enforced!!!

  6. To grant amnesty to those who came here in the US illegally is a slap in the face on those who chose to come here legally. My family went through a lot of hardships and sacrificed a lot to move here. We work here and pay taxes like any lawful citizens. Go Arizona, I support this law. I believe that for every 1 person who says they will boycott Arizona 20 will support Arizona, and I am one who will support AZ. I might even move back when they clean this state of illegals!

  7. My boyfriend is Mexican and I am white. He can’t stand the illegal Mexicans coming here. He wants them to go home to their own country. We are not responsible for them, their own country is.

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