Latinos, Blacks Join Fight for Civil Rights in Arizona

New America Media, News Report, Valeria Fernández Posted: Apr 26, 2010

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- A united front of black and Latino Arizonans mobilized against a state law that they see as a threat to their civil rights on Sunday at the First Institutional Baptist Church in downtown Phoenix. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on Friday, making Arizona the first state in the nation to make it a crime for a person to be undocumented.
ChurchPhoto by Paul Brinkley-Rogers
More than 3,000 people demonstrated outside the state capitol and hundreds gathered at the church to protest the law. Human rights activists, religious leaders and congressmen called for peaceful mobilizations, boycotts and, if necessary, civil disobedience to stop the legislation they believe would lead to racial profiling, unsafe communities and economic turmoil.

Several voices from the African-American community and other ethnic minorities joined the fight, sending a message of unity at a time when the state faces a divisive immigration debate.

“We here in Arizona are witnessing the historic and necessary 21st century awakening of the spirit of the civil rights movement,” said Rev. Warren Stewart, to an audience of 300 people at the First Institutional Baptist Church. Other speakers included mayor Phil Gordon and Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, D- Ill.

“Where do we go from here -- chaos or community?” Stewart asked, citing the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “I offer this to be our response: non-violent direct action.”

Stewart presented a battle plan to the audience that mirrored the strategy the black community in Phoenix used successfully in 1989 to force an unwilling legislature to create a legal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This included an economic boycott.

And history might repeat itself.

One of the leading voices for a boycott is Congressman Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz.

“There have to be consequences to this,” Grijalva told New America Media. He is calling for out-of-state organizations to refrain from holding conventions and events in Arizona. “With her signature, Gov. Brewer effectively sunk this state into an economic downturn that one convention not coming to Phoenix is miniscule.”
Asian protestersPhoto by Jose Muñoz
But before considering a boycott, Congressmen Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., and Luis Gutiérrez, D- Ill., say they want to see direct action from the Obama administration to block enforcement of the new law that would take effect in August.

“We need to stop this type of legislation from going to other states,” Pastor told New America Media.

The congressman said President Obama can ask U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to seek a temporary injunction of the Arizona law through the courts. He is also calling on Obama to suspend the use of a national program known as 287(g) that allows local police to enforce federal immigration law and has lead to lawsuits related to racial profiling.

Congressman Gutiérrez said he is hopeful that Obama will take action to stop the enforcement of SB 1070 given the president’s recent statements.

On Friday, Obama said federal inaction in passing immigration reform had led to “irresponsibility by others,” a reference to the Arizona law.

Gutiérrez called for immigration reform during a passionate speech in front of the Arizona Capitol, but stressed that even if reform does not pass, that is no excuse not to stop the Arizona legislation in its tracks. He called on the administration to issue a statement to affirm that “the police do not have an inherent right to carry out immigration policy,” and that that is the responsibility of the federal government.

But, he said, agreements between local police and immigration authorities across the country may have paved the way for the Arizona law.
Juan Crow protesterPhoto by Jose Muñoz
“Every time the federal government said that you can carry out 287(g) and sanctioned it, you gave Arizona an excuse to do 1070,” he said in a speech Sunday at the Arizona Capitol.

Sunday’s protest was the culmination of a week of actions in Phoenix, including an act of civil disobedience on Tuesday by nine students who chained themselves to the doors of the state capitol. People gathered to the beat of ranchera music in a rally that had a cheerful tone to it, despite the nature of the protest. T-shirts with the message “Legalize Arizona” were distributed in the crowd, which was made up mostly of young people and families with children.

The peaceful rally contrasted with the presence of hundreds of officers from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) who surrounded the premises of the Capitol grounds. Another rally is expected on May 1, when communities across the country will call for immigration reform.

“This had the unintended result of bringing people together who are vulnerable and live this vulnerability day in an day out. The African-American community, the Native American community, the gay American community,” said Roberto Reveles, former president of Somos America, a human rights coalition in the state.

Reveles, who participated in the 1960s civil rights movement, believes the passage of the controversial law will lead to more civic involvement and voter registration.

“We feel this is our fight also,” said Robert Tindall, director of Equal Means Equal, a campaign to bring awareness to gay rights issues. “It’s about equal rights and civil rights.” Tyndall said his group used social networking sites like Twitter to inform about 6,000 people about the rally on Sunday.

While communities are planning actions on the ground, others are looking to challenge the new law in the courts. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund (MALDEF) are looking into an immediate legal challenge. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said the city also will consider a lawsuit.

But there is a question of timing. One of the most immediate challenges to stop the law from taking effect is based on the argument that the federal authority is supreme when it comes to enforcing immigration law and states can’t regulate that area.

Another challenge, which would have to take place after the law has gone into effect, could investigate whether the law has resulted in the use of racial profiling.

Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, the author of the legislation, argues that his bill is not any different from what the federal government already does.

But legal observers say the fact that federal law supersedes state law could be the crux of the case against SB 1070.

“The law is very likely to be overturned because it is preempted by federal law,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer who monitors state and local immigration laws for the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute (MPI). “Congress has reserved enforcement of immigration law for federal government, with very few explicit areas for a role for states or localities. This is not one of them.”


Related Articles:

La Opinión Calls for National Boycott of Arizona

Mexico Warns of Retaliation for New Arizona Law

Arizona’s Law May Spark Pro-Immigrant Movement

Arizona Legislature Makes Being Undocumented a Crime



Page 1 of 1

Share/Save/Bookmark

User Comments


ShitBAGHispanics on May 17, 2010 at 12:50:13 said:

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


ShitBAGHispanics on May 17, 2010 at 12:49:24 said:

Blacks should NOT unite with Hispanics , Hispanics are killing blacks in the usa and in latino america.


king on May 10, 2010 at 17:17:46 said:

THESE FEW BLACKS DO NOT SPEAK FOR BLACK PEOPLE

BLACKS IN GENERAL WANT THE CONSTITUTION SUPREME LAW OF FOREIGN ILLEGAL VIOLATIONS ENFORCE.

WE HAVE NO BLACK LEADERS, AND ONLY THE IGNORANT WILL THINK BLACK MEN, LIKE SHARPTON OR JESSE OR ANY OTHER MEN, who want their 10 minutes of glory represent Black people. NO ILLEGAL ALIENS, NO AMNESTY, NO HEALTH CARE, GO HOME ILLEGALS, AND RESPECT OUR CONSTIUTTION YOU GO STAND UP IN MEXICO AND TO THE SPANIARDS, YOU ILLEGAL HISPANIC HYPOCRITS


james stevens on Apr 30, 2010 at 00:11:04 said:

For Immediate Release

Contact Persons:
James Steven - Day/Evening 805-443-0485 Malik Ali - Day/Evening (704) 492-3077
Email: james2s2003@yahoo.com Email: justiceinc@live.com
Website: www.getjusticeforall.org


“Justice, Inc.”
A New Organization Designed To End Illegal Profiling Overnight!

Justice Inc. a new organization developed by James Steven (James Stevens vs. Vons Corporation) with the assistance of Malik Ali, is positioned to make some major changes in the manner citizens are initially impacted in their pursuit of justice.

James Stevens, an African American male, also a victim of sexual harassment who was awarded an 18.4 million dollar judgment against Vons Corporation, a fortune 500 company, after a Caucasian, female supervisor was found guilty of sexual harassment in the workplace. Mr. Stevens was awarded a multi-million dollars judgment in punitive damages, only to have the judge overturn the award offering a new trial or reduced award of 2.4 million dollars.

The experience he gained in his journey through the judicial system is the foundation of Justice Inc. stands on to impact others like Mr. Stevens.

“Our Traffic Stop Report and the Do\\\'s and Don\\\'ts will be included with each Auto and Home Decal”, Mr. Stevens stated. These specially designed informative pieces have been developed to end the practice of illegal profiling virtually overnight!

“We want the campaign to be effective for blacks and browns. We believe it will eliminate illegal profiling of women and young drivers as well, or anyone who is denied the right of traveling front point A to Point B without unnecessary detainment by law enforcement.”

Justice, Inc, has launched their website at: www.getjusticeforall.org

Justice Inc. is now planning their national campaign beginning Date in Place. We want to let the public know; where we have been, what happened and to connect them with the information they need to be assured these type of events will not continue. Justice Inc, is here to provide the regular person with the tools they will need to stop being a victim.

Justice Inc, Mr. Stevens and Malik Ali, hope to provide a measure of protection to anyone who is affected by illegal profiling of any kind. “Traditionally profiling has been a problem in our communities, we also feel this is an option to solve this generational problem.”-- James Stevens


a on Apr 28, 2010 at 20:36:17 said:

Illegal immigrants should be deported to where they came from at the expense of their home country preferably. I have lived in six different countries throughout the world, speak 4 languages and have several degrees. I cannot imagine to be an immigrant or visitor in the country and not to respect its immigration law. But for the citizens of such country not to be outraged by the illegal immigration or even support such an illegal immigration, is sick.


a on Apr 28, 2010 at 20:28:26 said:

Illegal immigrants should be deported to whatever they came from at the expense of their home country preferably. I have lived in six different countries throughout the world, speak 4 languages and have several degrees. I cannot imagine to be an immigrant or visitor in the country and not to respect the immigration law. But for the citizens of such country not to be outraged by the illegal immigration or even support such an illegal immigration, is sick.


Theadora de Soyza on Apr 28, 2010 at 09:26:22 said:

This is the time to confront Obama, the Congress and Americans to stop the maddness in Arizona. SHAME ON THE GOVERNOR WHO SIGNED THIS RACIST BILL.


Theadora de Soyza on Apr 28, 2010 at 09:24:48 said:

This is the time to confront Obama, the Congress and Americans to stop the maddness in Arizona. SHAME ON THE GOVERNOR WHO SIGNED THIS RACIST BILL.


Jeff on Apr 28, 2010 at 02:07:20 said:

I remember when Arizona was where folks moved to when they decided that Central and Southern California (the redneck/Republican part of the state) had gotten too soft on "coloreds" after civil-rights laws started being enforced more often than once every fiftieth blue moon. This whole clusterfrak doesn't surprise me one bit.

And to those who were arguing about it earlier: yeah, it is unconstitutional: Amendment 14, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America reads "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Ratified July 9, 1868.

Maybe the Tea Partiers think the Constitution is a "subversive document."


NTLAT on Apr 27, 2010 at 01:55:05 said:

Arizona arrests Meteor Crater after learning it was formed by an asteroid that entered the state illegally

Google NotTheLATimes to find story.


Jimmy Z on Apr 26, 2010 at 19:45:14 said:

Idiocy. Black 'leaders' seeking to protect the illegal aliens that are STEALING JOBS from black CITIZENS? Unbelievable.


Jeffrey W. Griffith on Apr 26, 2010 at 17:16:00 said:

I have some doubts about the constitutionality of a law on the state level that seeks to control immigration and which requires people to have documents on their person proving that they are US citizens. Having said that, it is understandable that the people and government of Arizona are frustrated at the refusal of the President, the Democrats and the Republicans to enforce the immigration law vigorously. We are the only country in the world that allows its borders to be violated in such a economically and socially damaging way. Illegal immigrants should be deported, period. The borders should be sealed against illegal immigration, period. And Republican corporate and Democratic efforts to bring about "immigration reform," which really means "illegal immigration surrender" should be rebuffed. The Republicans are not supporting illegals because of their concern for their humanity; they are doing it to drive down wages for everyone, to return all Americans to the terrible labor conditions of the 19th Century. Democrats likewise take their money from the same corporate interests, from the President on down, mouthing platitudes, and hoping the illegals will enlarge the Democratic base. The current law should be enforced ruthlessly and there should be none of this bogus "immigration reform."


Steve Roos on Apr 26, 2010 at 14:48:02 said:

If a latino has a problem with being asked to prove he's here legally, then he has something to hide.

If he doesn't want to be profiled, then he should join those of us who are sick and tired of illegal Mexicans who sneak in here, can't speak the language, don't pay taxes, don't respect our laws, and then demand civil rights????

Go Arizona - and I hope many more states follow suit. It's time we had real immigration reform, which in my book, means coming here LEGALLY, the way they're supposed to!


Marc G on Apr 26, 2010 at 13:57:10 said:

So...when does the call come out for us all to converge on Maricopa County? The day the bill is enacted would be good.

1 million people at Joe Arpaio's doorstep would be nice.


dorothy on Apr 26, 2010 at 13:43:09 said:

I was in Arizona last summer and I have to admit that you can fill the tension in the air and I'm white, from Europe. So haw all Latinos fill?This summer I'm going to spent my vacation in different state that is for sure.


dorothy on Apr 26, 2010 at 12:59:07 said:

I was in Arizona last summer and I have to admit that you can fill the tension in the air and I'm white, from Europe. So haw all Latinos fill?This summer I'm going to spent my vacation in different state that is for sure.


nezua on Apr 26, 2010 at 10:32:14 said:

it's beautiful to see so many different people coming together to fight this vile energy and creepy law.


Dave A on Apr 26, 2010 at 10:17:36 said:

This article was very poorly written. It's not about civil rights since illegal aliens don't have the right to be in the country. The truth is that people will do what they want regardless of the law. People just don't like to be caught or told that they're wrong.


melly escobar on Apr 26, 2010 at 08:42:08 said:

I just have a question who is illegal , I don't understand why this county alway saids that discrimination is wrong for what I know illegal is not hispanic , what about Asians Cubans , Argentinos etc.Please we need to do something about all this people that don't know much about any thing and just follow the so call law , Our President needs to stop all this discrimination all around . Having these laws just makes our families worry and scare up-set , un-happy children are tierd of having there parentsjudge by the look they have ,


dcafe on Apr 26, 2010 at 07:45:03 said:

April 26th is officially "Confederate Memorial Day" in Arizona. It's true. This is probably not the best time to mention that, but most people don't know that AZ joined the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Some would like to see AZ change it to "Civil War Memorial Day," especially with all the flack it's getting over the immigration bill. It would show people how AZ has grown more tolerant and open-minded. What do you all think?

Recall that the AZ economy suffered under the last boycott, when it resisted recognizing MLK day? It even lost SuperBowl XXVII when it was moved by the NFL to California. AZ does not want to go down that same road, again.


l00ker on Apr 26, 2010 at 06:42:44 said:

Anyone who really lived under and through Jim Crow wouldn't be caught dead with these subversives, degenerates and traitors. And if these so-called black 'leaders' can't do anything for and aren't respected by blacks, then God help whomever that they are trying to speak for.

-->




Advertisement


ADVERTISEMENT


Just Posted

NAM Coverage

Immigration

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisements on our website do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of New America Media, our affiliates or our funders.