El Pasoans Rally Against, For AZ Immigration Law
Law Sparking Protests On Both Sides Of The Debate Saturday
EL PASO, Texas – Thousands of protesters voiced anger with Arizona’s new immigration law at May Day rallies across the nation Saturday, with some of those demonstrations taking place in El Paso.Dozens of activists hit the streets of the Sun City chanting “Si se puede,” or “yes we can,” hoping that yes, they could overturn the controversial law in Arizona.The law makes being in this country illegally a state crime. “It pretty much leaves in the hands of law enforcement that interpretation. Who looks undocumented?” asked one protester.And it’s that issue of racial profiling that spurred much of the frustration that spilled out on the streets in downtown El Paso, while anger over the law drew dozens more to the corner of Sunland Park and Mesa.”These are things that you can’t tell by looking at what car people drive or looking at what houses people live in,” said another protester.But not everyone in the Borderland is opposed to the law.”I’d say I’m for it,” said one supporter.So were others at a rally sponsored by the Republican Party of El Paso. “It’s better for people that are citizens, people that actually pay taxes,” said another supporter, adding, “I’m for the government acting to secure the borders.” Supporters of the law say the influx of illegal immigrants has led to more crime.The law doesn’t go into effect until September, but until then, there’s one thing a lot of people on both sides of the issue are wondering.”How’s it gonna work? Is it even gonna work?” asked one protester who opposes the new law.Local activists are taking up other forms of action too. Members of the Border Network for Human Rights are planning a civil disobedience protest later this week, planning to publicly “come out” as illegal immigrants in front of the county jail.