A day after the most contentious provision of Arizona’s immigration law took effect, protesters gathered around Phoenix to challenge the section of SB 1070 that many believe will lead systematic racial profiling. Over three dozen activists stood outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building Wednesday evening, shouting, “No papers, no fear.” According to Carlos Garcia, an organizer with the immigrant rights group the Puente Movement, the protesters’ strategy is to urge people not to cooperate with immigration enforcement efforts – whether they’re in the country legally or not.
Tempe resident Beatrice Jernigan said undocumented friends are living in fear. “They don’t know what’s going to happen. They’re more cautious,” she said. “Some parents who are illegal immigrants are not allowing their kids to participate in afterschool sports.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that police in Arizona could immediately begin to enforce the contentious section of the state’s immigration law, marking the first time officers can question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally while enforcing other laws.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering a request to halt the provision. In the meantime, an education campaign for undocumented immigrants to remain largely silent when they’re pulled over by police is being put into practice across the state.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that verifies people’s immigration status for local officers, said Wednesday it has not yet seen an influx in the number of calls it receives from local authorities for immigration checks and assistance.