From Phoenix to Coachella, protesters took to the streets Thursday, as the Arizona immigration law officially went into effect.
A federal judge Wednesday blocked most of the controversial parts of S.B. 1070. But protesters claim the law still unfairly targets Hispanics.
The protest in Coachella never got out of hand. Law enforcement never showed up.
No arrests were made. However, that wasn’t the case in Arizona.
Tensions boiled onto the streets of Phoenix as activists carrying signs and waving flags demonstrated in front of a sheriff’s office.
More than 45 protesters there were placed under arrest.
“There are even more reasons to demonstrate this,” said Carlos Velez-Ibanez, an Arizona protester.
Protesters in Coachella hurled explosive accusations against Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
They compared S.B. 1070 to the attempt Nazi’s made to exterminate the Jews
“We’re going to be like hiding,” said Edith Aranda, with Comite Latino, a grassroots organization. “Exactly how the Nazi’s were looking for every German person.”
Some 100 protesters gathered along Harrison Street and Avenue 50.
Cars passing by honked in support of the rally.
“The illegal immigrants are human too like us,” said Memo Martinez, with the United Farm Workers Union.
“They’re not criminals,” said Ivan Alvars, a protester. “They’re not bad people. They’re good people. They’re looking for a better life.”
Activists called the law racist even though a federal judge Wednesday blocked most of the controversial parts of the law.
Lawyers for the state of Arizona are appealing the ruling.
“Immigrants came here to live a better life to help the country,” said Felix Rosales, with Comite Latino.
At least 10 arrests were made in Los Angeles.
Protesters chained themselves together and blocked a busy intersection.
Coachella is a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. Approximately 12 million illegal immigrants are living in the United States.
Edith Aranda called the Arizona immigration law an injustice.
“Like Martin Luther King stood up for history,” she said. “I want to stand up for people that don’t have papers, and it’s racist. Like, this is racist.”
Polls show most people in Arizona back the governor and are in favor of enforcing the original law.
However, there are several pending lawsuits challenging S.B. 1070.