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Immigration protest at Capitol turns into celebration

(Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

(Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

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.


  1. Great article! Well written!

  2. Judge Bolton did the right thing in ordering the injunction, but it still does not solve the problem that is SB1070. As Americans, we need to open our eyes to the necessity of a real immigration reform.

    Our borders are ALREADY more secure than ever. There are ALREADY more boots on the border than ever. Apprehensions have ALREADY gone down at the border.

    It is now time to allow the hard working immigrants living in the shadows while making possible our way of life to be included in our society. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. We cannot have cheap labor and no illegal immigration.

    We need a balanced, fair, comprehensive immigration reform! Let’s start with the economic stimulus that is the DREAM Act!!

  3. Was this the same protest that had over 30 arrests? Just wondering

  4. Great Article… Thanks Griselda
    Bolton’s decision is half the battle… hopefully SB1070 will be taken away completely. But, it doesn’t solve the immigration issue in the US, let’s all push and support the DREAM Act and protect young talented immigrant students from harsh laws like this one … let’s give these DREAMers a chance of legalization and a chance to give back to the country that saw them grow up.

  5. Up to a third of the U.S. federal prison population is composed of non-citizens. As to the “hard-working” claim, as of 2007 CIS notes: “The proportion of immigrant-headed households using at least one major welfare program is 24.5 percent compared to 16.3 percent for native households.” The Pew Hispanic Center has said Mexicans make up 56 percent of illegal immigrants. An additional 22 percent come from other Latin American countries, mainly in Central America. So as far as ‘profiling’ goes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then there’s a 78% chance that it’s a duck. I’d say that’s a fair enough percentage to ask for identification. If you are a LEGAL citizen then you won’t have a problem! Every adult in America is required to carry identification, legal citizens and especially visitors. The reason identifying documentation exist is to help officers identify if a person has certain rights such as citizenship; it’s the same if you were in Mexico or any other country all of which guard their borders with the strictest of enforcement. Just like having a driver’s license and proof of insurance identifies someone having the right to drive a vehicle. It allows an officer access to information to identify rights.

    ILLEGALS should be arrested, and deported immediately. They don’t deserve a trial the fact they’ve broken a federal law is CLEAR. They don’t get a free lawyer at taxpayer’s expense. Civil rights are for citizens and legal residents. Illegal aliens have no right to be in America. The new Arizona law has nothing to do with racial profiling. No matter what you do, the protesters, most of which are illegal’s (big surprise right?) will make it appear as profiling because ILLEGALS mostly come from the Mexican border, it’s called logical deduction. Of course they are going to line up in troves to protest a law that would take away what they have stolen. Nobody getting a free ride wants it to end. (If you didn’t have to pay for healthcare or federal taxes would you want it to end?) The idiots who CAN’T understand the definition of the word ILLEGAL need to get an education. The idiots who don’t WANT to understand the definition are probably part of the 11+ million we need to arrest and deport.

    The federal government isn’t doing its job because they would have to send agents in to comb the streets for illegal’s and guess what- they’d be accused of ‘profiling’ as well because it’s mostly coming from Mexico’s border (Hispanics/Latinos) and they know it! So their fear makes them pawns in this game. Look around you, quit acting blind, and support your state government unless you like to see your tax dollars pay for the well being and lively hood of thief’s. When I read statements like “If we don’t fight this in Arizona, this anti-immigrant feeling will spread across the country.” It makes me laugh. It’s not an anti-immigrant feeling it’s an anti-ILLEGAL feeling. Americans LOVE immigrants, they work through the proper LEGAL channels to get here, they pay taxes and love this country because they have EARNED the right to be here. When you earn something you defend it dearly which is what makes you a patriot of your country. A patriot is a fellow American in my book.

  6. SB1070 has brought fear in the hearts of my community. Children fear being seperated from their parents. We need a comprehensive immigration reform soon. We know that at this time CIR is not plausible, at least not this year. However, our community can still have a victory ad that is through the DREAM ACT. An act that would allow over 2million undocumented students the opportunity to continue their education or dreams with a path to legalization. An act that would benefit the students, their families, the community, but overall it would benefit America.
    DREAM ACT NOW! Let’s take the first step. Let’s make dreams come true/

  7. Elizabeth Whitley

    Thanks God SB1070 will not be fully implemented. However, we need to protect those who got here at a very young age and have been raised as Americans. The DREAM Act needs to pass now. It is very important for us to realize that we are at a very crucial point. We must pass the DREAM Act. We need to protect these energetic, hard working, young individuals. The DREAM Act is not only a bipartisan legislation, but the best decision that American can make.

    P.S: Griselda, thanks for writing this article.

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