Immigration protest at Capitol turns into celebration
Published: July 28, 2010 at 10:28 pm
By Griselda Nevarez, Arizona Capitol Times
What was intended to be a protest outside the Capitol against the implementation of S1070 turned out to be a celebration after U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton halted key elements of Arizona’s immigration law.
Bolton ordered a temporary injunction for several provisions of the law early July 28, including requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop, detain or arrest and who they suspect to be in the country illegally.
Among other provisions that will not go into effect include criminalizing those who fail to carry documents showing proof of being in the country legally and making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work.
Rosa Maria Soto, of Glendale, sang and celebrated as a band played songs praising the Virgin Mary, a religious Catholic figure. Soto was among the people who participated in prayer vigils and camped outside the Capitol for over 100 days in protest of immigration law.
Although Soto said Bolton’s decision is a victory for the people of Arizona, she said there is still more work to be done to stop the full implementation of S1070.
“We have to keep in mind that this is only the beginning; there’s still a long fight ahead of us,” Soto said.
Marylou Cabral, 23 of Mesa, yelled chants into a microphone at the corner of 17th Avenue and Washington, stirring the few dozen people before her who held signs and repeated her slogans.
Cabral, who is part of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition, or ANSWER, said her group will begin to reach out to the people who have been hiding for fear of the police and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio since the law was passed in April.
Arpaio and the law’s sponsor, Sen. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican, said they are confident the state will prevail on appeal and the law will eventually become effective.
“Even if the law goes into effect, we’re going to organize and put pressure on the lawmakers,” Cabral said.
Miguel Yanez of Phoenix, who held a large American flag in one hand and the hand of his son in the other, said he and his family had thought about leaving the state due to S1070. He said he is now optimistic the federal court will rule the immigration law unconstitutional.
“This law makes me feel cornered and persecuted, but I have hope that we will prevail,” Yanez said.