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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Immigration protest planned

Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat 

Protesters gather in downtown Tucson demanding Jan Brewer to veto the new immigration bill three days before Brewer signed it into law, arguing that it legalized racial profiling. The law, SB 1070, has been amended to not allow law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship based on race.
Lisa Beth Earle
Lisa Beth Earle/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Protesters gather in downtown Tucson demanding Jan Brewer to veto the new immigration bill three days before Brewer signed it into law, arguing that it legalized racial profiling. The law, SB 1070, has been amended to not allow law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship based on race.

Bags of clear buttons bearing slogans like “”Immigrant”” and “”No papers”” lay strewn across the grassy hills around the Alumni Plaza as more than 60 students and supporters came out to organize against Arizona’s new immigration law on Friday evening.

John Washington, a creative writing graduate student, and Francisco Baires, a Mexican-American/Raza studies graduate student, headed UAgainst Senate Bill 1070. UAgainst is organizing students from around campus to call on administration and campus police to condemn the law.

A rally is being held Wednesday to encourage the UA community to denounce the bill and raise awareness about the bill’s ramifications.

UAgainst is trying to make the UA in effect a “”sanctuary campus”” akin to sanctuary cities like San Francisco.

A sanctuary would be a place where the new law would not be enforced based on racial stereotypes, but rather based on actual crimes being committed.

UAgainst’s shortened statement of purpose reads: “”We demand the repeal of SB 1070. We demand an immediate end to efforts by AZ Legislators to strike fear in people. We call on UAPD to publicly refuse to enforce SB 1070. We call on (President Robert) Shelton to denounce SB 1070 and the racist hatred it represents. We commit to making UA campus a safe space for everyone. We voice our support for nationwide efforts to make the State accountable for its actions.””

“”Describing it as like an infection is a pretty apt metaphor for (SB 1070),”” Washington said at the meeting Friday evening. He noted that Utah is one of seven other states possibly considering enacting laws like SB 1070.

The bill, signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23, creates new provisions in Arizona law to allow police to question those believed to be in the country illegally and arrest them, holding them until their citizenship status is confirmed. President Barack Obama called the bill “”misguided”” and it has come under heavy fire from across the nation, as some feel that without proper regulation, the law could tacitly legalize racial profiling.

The law was revised with House Bill 2162 and signed at the end of the legislative session on Thursday. The bill specified that SB 1070 cannot be enforced on the basis of race, ethnicity or origin but can only be enacted under “”reasonable suspicion”” that a person is in the United States illegally.

“”It’s a big worry,”” said Julio Cardenas, a chemistry graduate student from Mexico. “”I’m not American. I’m a Mexican citizen, and I’ve been racially profiled 18 times since I’ve been here, and this (law) makes it way easier. I was stopped the other day by UMC (University Medical Center). I was on campus. So that’s a big concern for me, that’s a big concern for my family, for my girlfriend.””

He was one of two international students at the meeting last Friday.

Baires noted the meeting was small, yet had strong support that pushed the group to where it is. They hope it will spur more action on campus.

During the meeting he pushed those in attendance to reach out to friends and classmates. He argues that everyone will be affected because the bill requires anyone aware of a person possibly in the country illegally to report them to the police.

“”If you think that it’s not going to affect you, you’re wrong,”” he said. “”It even goes after aiding and abetting … it’s scapegoating society as well. So, it’s unfortunate that we have to rely on that to get so much attention. It’s unfortunate that we have to rely on economic effects to get so much attention.””

Petition sheets are going around campus and will be at Wednesday’s rally. They have collected more than 600 signatures and hope to collect more than 1,000.

Officer Escobar, the Tucson Police Officer who is filing suit against SB1070, will be speaking. 

 

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