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3 found guilty on charges stemming from AZ protest

Salvador Reza, left and Rev. Peter Morales walk into Maricopa County Justice Court Friday, July 29, 2011, in Phoenix, for their trail on civil disobedience charges. They and more than 80 others were arrested for blocking the entrance of the Maricopa County jail in downtown Phoenix as they protested Arizona's immigration law SB1070 last year. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

A judge has found three immigrant rights advocates guilty of failing to follow police orders during a protest last year over Arizona’s controversial immigration law and a crackdown.

The verdicts reached Thursday bring the number of immigrant advocates convicted of the same misdemeanor charge to 13.

All could face up to four months in jail and a maximum $700 fine when they are sentenced Aug. 23 by Justice of the Peace David Seyer.

The latest verdicts were handed down against immigrant-rights group leader Salvador Reza and the Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Boston-based Unitarian Universalist Association.

Another advocate was convicted of the same charge in the verdicts announced Friday. Two others were acquitted.

The advocates were arrested July 29, 2010, when dozens of protesters took to Phoenix streets on the day Arizona’s new immigration law was set to take effect.

The protesters also were speaking out against Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, who organized an immigration patrol the day the law took effect.

The protesters massed outside one of Arpaio’s jails, beating on a metal door and forcing sheriff’s deputies to call for backup. Officers in riot gear opened the doors, waded into the crowd and hauled off those who didn’t move.

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  1. These Reconquista extremists are hardly \immigrant rights advocates.\

    1. Illegal aliens are not \immigrants.\ \Immigrant\ is a legal term for a person who emigrates to the U.S. legally, not for someone who sneaks in at midnight.

    2. There is no \right\ to be an illegal alien.

    You might call these anti-America extremists \illegal alien advocates\, but they have nothing to do with any Constitutional \rights.\

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