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Latino Daily News

Wednesday May 2, 2012

Arizona Latinos Take to the Street Protesting Deportations and Racism

Arizona Latinos Take to the Street Protesting Deportations and Racism

Photo: Arizona Latinos Protesting Deportations

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Members of the Hispanic community of southern Arizona marched through the streets Tuesday to demand an end to the deportations and racism provoked by state laws like SB 1070.

Hispanics “are the base and strength of the pyramid we live on,” Raul Alcaraz, representative of the South Side Workers Center, told some 200 demonstrators carrying banners through the streets of Tucson slamming Arizona’s SB 1070 and deportations.

“We’re marching here to defend immigrants’ rights that are being attacked with unjust laws like SB 1070. This law has hurt many of our communities, sowing terror and breaking up families,” Tucson native Diana Leon told Efe.

Leon, the mother of a 2-year-old, believes that if SB 1070 is upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, many families will leave the state of Arizona out of fear of being arrested by police and facing possible deportation.

“Though my daughter and I are United States citizens, we also have Mexican blood and it’s important for me that she sees the importance of fighting for our rights as human beings,” Leon said.

People like Luis Gomez, an undocumented day laborer, said the situation is getting more and more difficult for people who have no papers.

“I’ve been waiting for many years for the chance to get my ‘papers’ and I still can’t,” the Mexican immigrant told Efe.

Even so, he has no thought of going back to Mexico, since his three children, one of them about to finish high school, were born in the United States and he believes that here they have better a chance for success.

“If we go back to Mexico, I don’t believe they can continue their studies, it would be a lot more difficult because even though they speak Spanish, they don’t write it very well, so I don’t think they’re at a level to go to school in Mexico,” he said.

For her part, Isabel Garcia, director of the Arizona Human Rights Coalition, said that the future of immigrants in the state of Arizona is far from promising.

“We see indications that the Supreme Court could turn all the police in Arizona into ‘migra’ (immigration agents),” the activist told Efe.

On April 25 the nation’s highest court heard arguments for and against SB 1070, which aims to criminalize the presence of undocumented immigrants, and its ruling is expected by the end of June.

Garcia said she is worried about the possible approval of the SB 1070 article that is currently suspended, which authorizes policemen to question the immigration status of people “suspected” of being undocumented.

“If the Supreme Court rules in favor of SB 1070, it will be legalizing racism,” she said.