Protests of Arizona immigration law promised as deadline looms
Protests and rallies are being planned in Phoenix and around the country on July 29, the day police are set to begin enforcing the controversial Arizona immigration law.
(Page 2 of 2)
“An illegal immigrant is someone who bleeds ... our country, and takes [unfair] advantage of everything America has to offer,” says Daniel Smeriglio, president and founder of Voice of the People, a group based in Hazelton, Pa. He says his group plans to make that point on street corners with bullhorns beginning July 30.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The seven lawsuits may be the more effective paths to repealing the law, but legal analysts say protests like those planned engage the public attention in ways that simply following the details of a lawsuit do not.
“This is the classic tactic of civil disobedience championed by Martin Luther King in the 1960s,” says Robert Pugsley of Southwestern Law School. “It’s a very useful way of demonstrating the justness of the protesters’ cause as they see it.”
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio warns protesters to remain orderly. Seven were arrested Thursday outside District Court in Phoenix for obstructing an intersection with a protest sign, and Sheriff Arpaio says he isn't afraid to arrest more.
“No one is going to intimidate this sheriff and I know they are not intimidating the courts,” he says in a phone interview. The Phoenix Police Department urged those coming to protest to engage in "lawful and peaceful demonstrations," in a statement.
"There is always tension between protesters and counter protesters at events like these," says Mr. Smeriglio, "but I support and applaud anyone coming out to voice their opinion. It’s the American way."
- Arizona immigration law: Backers are hopeful after court hearing
- Arizona immigration law 101: seven lawsuits, and counting
- Arizona immigration lawsuit: Obama sails into a political storm