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Arizona Law Brings About Protests
In April, Arizona passed one of the nation’s toughest illegal immigration bills, SB 1070—a bill which President Obama strongly criticized. The law, whose aim it is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants, sparked uproar not only in Arizona, but in California as well.
In Orange County, eight people chained themselves together outside the federal building in Santa Ana while protesting the law. The protestors gathered to call on Santa Ana to declare itself a “sanctuary city.” A recent UC Berkeley graduate who lives in Santa Ana was quoted saying, “Undocumented people are human beings, we’re not criminals.” Protestors view laws such as this as racist, as it gives police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Such suspicion would most likely be directed towards Hispanics and is being deemed racial profiling by many.
President Obama has said that the Arizona law has threatened to “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”
The Santa Ana protestors were ultimately arrested and taken to city jail, but later cited and released. See Penal Code Sections 415(1), (2) (Disturbing the Peace) and 602 (Trespass).