450 March Against Immigration SB 1070
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The controversial immigration law, commonly called SB 1070 has just turned one year old. While the Arizona leaders marked the anniversary with promises to continue pushing immigration reform in the country, there were others, some 450 people, who walked against the reform. On the day after the anniversary of the law, which was Friday, April 22, 2011, about 450 people who are immigrant rights advocates took to the city streets to march as a way to protect the SB 1070's immigration implications, which have been controversial from the start. The group marked through the downtown Phoenix area on Saturday.
The law is controversial because many people it allows law enforcement to racially profile people. The law gives law enforcement the ability to question those it arrests or detains about their immigration status, something that has never been allowed in the past for any organization outside of the federal government's ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents. The new law is not in total enforcement even a year later, since a judge blocked parts of the law that are considered the most controversial for the time being. Some parts of the law are in place and many advocates of it believe that the law is helping to draw attention to immigration, something many people have wanted for a long time. It has made Congress realize immigration is an important topic, though it has yet to help encourage Congress to pass new laws in regards to immigration reform.
Those Against the Law
The project was filled with many people who are immigrant rights advocates including various politicians who have previously came forward to oppose the law. Signs and slogans chanted by those who were at the rally included saying such as "SB 1070 We will not comply." There were about 10 counter protestors present; people who remain in favor of the immigration law as it stands. There was some shouting between the two groups during the day's protest, but most of the event remain peaceful, and thus draw attention to the immigration subject in a reasonable manner. The march began at the Cesar Chavez Plaza and followed a path to the state's capitol building. There, the protest continued on the steps.
Advocates Push for Law
There were many that took the anniversary as a way to draw attention to the benefits of the law. Though a federal judge did block the enforcement of some aspects of the law, other aspects are in place and many believe they are working to reduce the amount of immigration present in the state. In addition, the law put pressure on Washington to pay attention to the state's growing immigration problems at the border, which prompted the Obama administration to send National Guard troops to the area to help to protect the border. Both sides do agree that the attention was needed and that the new law is helping to get people talking, though not everyone agrees on how the immigration reform that is needed should occur.