Immigration Fireball Ready to Explode in Arizona; Activists Preparing Defense
The heat is on in Arizona and we are not talking about the summer sun! Arizona passed a new law, SB 1070, which criminalizes the presence of undocumented workers and forces police to detain anyone they suspect of not having “papers”. The law is scheduled to go into effect on the 29th of this month.
Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who controls Phoenix, says he is ready with his prison tent camps for anyone who opposes SB 1070. At the same time, he reportedly is prepared to send his legion of up to 900 “specially trained” men into Latino barrios looking for terrorists and poor people. The Latino community thinks he will find mostly poor people, a fair number of whom are citizens, but none of whom will be terrorists.
A federal judge could put a halt to the nightmare facing Arizona, at least until the matter can be deliberated fully in court. Attorneys for the U.S. Justice Department have asked for a temporary injunction pending a fair hearing by all the parties. Tonight, an anxious crowd waited for yet another surprise decision, which not surprisingly,was not forthcoming. The speculation is a decision, if it comes, will only address portions of the law, but not enjoin enforcement of the entire law. At this late date, considering the multiple times a "surprise" decision was to be handed down and wasn't, any decision regarding an injunction by this judge will be a surprise.
Meanwhile, pro-immigrant groups are preparing for a difficult day on the 29th. Various Latino leaders are urging calm in the community, while at the same time marshaling support for peaceful protests. Rushed training is being held for those who wish to take a leadership role in protests, while others are being trained in how to watch and record police actions. The wild card, some leaders say, are people in from other states who are not versed in peaceful protest tactics.Continued on the next page