People rally before an act of civil disobedience to protest against the lack of an immigration reform bill on May 17, 2010 in New York, New York. Nearly two dozen labor and community leaders, local clergy and City Council members were arrested while stopping traffic in front of 26 Federal Plaza. The protests follow the state of Arizona's passage of a new immigration law, although a federal judge overturned the law's sections which require civilians to carry proof of citizenship and police officers to check for it. The law has become increasingly divisive, with Mexico's president issuing a travel warning to Mexican citizens in Arizona. Thousands of people have been taking part in similar protests around the country.
Hundreds of New Yorker marched in protest of Arizona's controversial new immigration law, which went into effect today -- at least partly.
The march, entitled "We Are All Arizona," was organized by several New York City organizations including the New Sanctuary Coalition, Churches United to Save and Heal, Families for Freedom, DRUM, and VAMOS Unidos.
The "We Are All Arizona" organizers outlined their platform as: "A call for an end to the use of racial profiling" and "a demand for just and humane immigration reform that upholds family unity and human rights over increased enforcement" according to a press release.
New York opponents of the measure joined hundreds of others across the country who breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after a judge blocked several key components of Arizona's new immigration law at the last minute.
On Wednesday, Federal judge Susan Bolton ruled that people in Arizona can't be compelled to carry proof of citizenship or green cards, and police can't be made to check the immigration status of people they stop. These parts of the law are widely supported in the state.
Arizona governor Jan Brewer has promised a swift appeal, saying "obviously it's a little bump in the road."
For now, the judge's injunction is in place. Unless Brewer's appeal is successful, here is a brief overview of what actually went into effect at midnight Arizona time: being a day laborer, or picking one up, is illegal if it impedes traffic; harboring and transporting illegal immigrants is a misdemeanor crime; there will be stricter enforcement of all federal immigration laws.