July 29th, 2010
04:54 PM ET

What's the buzz about immigration law?

[Updated July 29, 4:54 p.m.] Nicole Ramos drove six hours from San Diego to join the demonstration outside the Phoenix Municipal Government center against Arizona’s newly enacted immigration law SB1070.

“There's power in numbers and this is a democratic form of effecting change,” the University of San Diego student said   “I just want to be here to support everyone with my chants and my presence.”

She said yesterday’s ruling that temporarily struck down some of the law was unexpected and  “smart.”

“I think it calmed a lot of things down and made it easier to breathe in this atmosphere today.” There is “a greater sense of hope” and less anger because of the ruling, the 21-year-old said.

“I believe every human is born with rights,” she said. “Maybe an act is illegal, but a person cannot be illegal.”

[Updated July 29, 2:49 p.m.] Francisca Munoz joined other demonstrators gathered at in the Cesar Chavez Plaza located in the Phoenix Municipal Government Center to "support the fight" against Arizona's new immigration law that went into effect Thursday.

"The law affects me as a an immigrant without papers who has a job and wants to be a citizen but it takes so much waiting and time and money," she says in Spanish. "It's almost impossible. This law promotes racism and doesn't do anything to help the people become citizens."

Munoz considers yesterday's temporary injunction that struck down some of the law's most controversial parts a victory - but believes there's still quite a lot of work to be done.

"The law has already done so much harm to the [Latino] community," she told CNN's Emanuella Grinberg. "Many people are gone and the houses are left empty and the restaurants are empty."

Munoz said she has lived in the area for 28 years working various cleaning jobs - but now she's feeling the direct impact of the law.

"Right now I don't have a job because there's no work," she said. "All the doors are closed."

[Updated July 29, 12:14 p.m.] One woman on her way to work this morning in Phoenix, Arizona, told CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg that she was surprised by the judge’s ruling Wednesday on the immigration law

“I didn’t think we would win, because they think we are all criminals," Maria Cuevas said as she got off the train at the Central Avenue light rail station. "The preliminary injunction means that, at least for now, police are prevented from questioning people's immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in the country illegally.”

"I just want to work and make a good life for my family,” the Mexican-born Cuevas, who cleans commercial buildings for a living said.

[Posted July 28, 6:52 p.m.] The expressions on their faces pretty much told you where they stood on SB 1070 as the crowds trickled away from the Arizona State Capitol in downtown Phoenix.

“I'm very pleased about the ruling because overall, we need to respect and care for all people,” said Judy Tomlinson, a slight woman whose serene smile conveyed her approval of U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's ruling to temporarily stay some of the most controversial portions of the proposed immigration law. “For me, it's a human rights issue. When people live in fear we're not operating at our best,” she said.

By midday in Phoenix, news of Bolton's ruling dominated coffee shops, fast food joints and sun-baked patios shrouded in clouds of misted water near the State Capitol, where demonstrators and working Joes on their lunch break gathered.

“It's like if I went to Ireland or Scotland to work and then all of the sudden they wanted me out, where do they get off?” a man with a British accent said to his colleagues at a table outside Starbucks.

To many like Tomlinson, a minister with the Unitarian Universalist Church who arrived in Phoenix from New Jersey today to take part in protests of SB 1070, their work is far from over. Later today, she is scheduled to attend a series of speeches and training sessions on effective protests coordinated by the for which she is a minister.

At a nearby table, members of the anti-racism group, A.N.S.W.E.R., tapped loudly on their laptops, fielding nonstop phone calls over banner sizes and the guest speaker roster at a demonstration planned later in the day at the State Capitol.

Guarded optimism was the tone the pair took in characterizing Bolton's ruling, calling it a step in the right direction over what's still a rather gigantic hill.

“It's a temporary victory,” said Carlos Alvarez. “We have to remain active and visible and put as much pressure on the court and lawmakers as possible. The culture of fear is still alive in Arizona. SB 1070 was a part of it, but it's also the result of millions of workers being undocumented and not having proper access to basic services.”

Dressed in the green “Legalize Arizona” T-shirt that has come to symbolize the opposition movement to SB 1070, Alvarez said it remained to be seen how Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio carries out the law.

“He has said that he still intends to do the midnight sweeps and continue the culture of hatred against immigrants that has created things like 1070.”

Among those who support 1070, resignation hung heavily from their faces, but don't confuse it for shock over today's turn of events.

“The judge's ruling doesn't surprise me ,because the Obama administration put pressure on her to come down this way,” said Neil Zerbe, as he and his wife, Debra, took a seat at the outside bar at Hooters.

“It's just another sign of big government takeover, even when they've shown that they can't take care of things,” said Zerbe, a Vietnam vet who'd worn his Army fatigues to protest at the State Capitol Wednesday.

Zerbe said that he and his wife were the only people who'd shown up at the Capitol to voice support for 1070.

"The voice of the opposition is so loud that maybe those on our side are tired of shouting over it. But we just wanted to make our opinions heard."

His wife, Debra Rowe, also attributed Wednesday's ruling to pressure from the federal government and lawmakers attempting to curry favor among Latino voters.

“My main concern is I work, I pay taxes and we're supporting them. We have to come up with a way to stop rampant illegal immigration.”

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. mamaw

    It's easy to see which side the author was on. Maybe she should move to the border and really get the big picture.

    July 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • afraidofheights

      If the federal government politicians could resist the urge to act like children and not think exclusively about how their positions will impact the mid-terms and Latino vote in the out years, we would have reasonable legislation at the federal level. We would not have to litigate a state’s immigration policy.

      For another take on the AZ immigration law which is both serious and wicked FUNNY, check out this link:


      July 29, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • tj

      YOU FRICKIN' ILLEGAL MEXICANS are ILLEGAL... look up the word ILLEGAL!!! YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS! One comment was it takes too long, F#$% YOU, go home and wait!!

      August 5, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. HernandezUSA

    "The expressions on their faces pretty much told you where they stood on SB 1070 as the crowds trickled away from the Arizona State Capitol in downtown Phoenix."

    So according to this reporter.... U.S Citizens and LEGAL immigrants are ugly..............because we just got scr#wed by a liberal judge.

    July 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj

      BE LEGAL or BE GONE!!!

      August 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. quicknthedead

    There is legal immigration...and there is ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, plain and simple.

    More importantly, there is Right and there is Wrong.

    July 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I whole-heartedly agree. There is legal and illegal....what is so difficult to understand why illegal immigrants simply broke the law. People can be sympathic but they broke the law. If i broke into a house...ate the food and took what i wanted , how sympathic would the homeowner be? I would still be expected to be prosecuted.

      I saw an interview Ali V.had today with a governor in Mexico and you would think a pertainent question SHOULD be what are you doing as a Mexican governor to stop YOUR citizens from illegally entering the US? But that question was never asked.....we are expected as americans to look beyond breaking by the media and illegal immigrant advocates.

      July 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 5inPFs

    I think this gentleman is confused. Ireland, Scotland, and England are all part of the United Kingdom. Does he think that AZ is concerned about people from the East Coast, the South, and the Pacific Northwest coming in?

    July 29, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Are you serious!?! Even though these countries are all PART of the United "Kingdom", they are SEPARATE countries unlike the United "States". Some people really blow my mind and you're one of them.

      July 29, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 5inPFs

    Ah...they cut off part of my post. I was referring to this gentleman.

    “It's like if I went to Ireland or Scotland to work and then all of the sudden they wanted me out, where do they get off?” a man with a British accent said to his colleagues at a table outside Starbucks."

    July 29, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. cvbe

    We will teach her the hard way that the poeple want SB1070 and laws respected
    Tomorrow let's start drying out all latino businesses, no more hiring them, we will say no to any latino name, accent, face.
    Nobody can stop Bolton? well nobody can stop my boycott.
    (I know it sucks for legal latinos, sorry for them)
    Officials dont want to handle illegal immigration matters, well millions of Americans will do it themselves.

    July 29, 2010 at 12:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      A large portion of LEGAL citizens in this country are hispanic – why punish people when they or their parents (or their parent's parents) have taken the legal steps to become a member of our country?

      I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are an idiot.

      July 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      We should also say we won't pay taxes either-at least until ALL foreigners coming to this country have to pay theirs. Illegal or legal-or just here to buy up our businesses and hire family only-they don't have to pay any taxes either!

      July 29, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawna Joye

      We should boycott everyone who boycotts Arizona. Hollywood, Sports, Obama

      July 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • wilddawg

      The Hispanic community needs to take a lead role in speaking out 'against' illegal immigration just like Islamic groups need to speak out against radical Islamist. Failure to do so only turns into people hating both groups.

      August 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sorry

    The CNN footage I saw depicted groups of angry Latinos shouting slogans in Spanish and waving Spanish-language signs indicating they would not follow the law. That... is why Americans know we need to stop ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. It will continue to divide the United States into two groups. The "CNN iReport" is an example. It is being offered in English and "En Español." I may have to stop watching CNN if they continue to favor the Illegals on this issue.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Neil

    I was watching the debate that occurred at 12:20 EST and the lady said illegals help our country. How do they help? THEY DON'T PAY TAXES!!!

    July 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • tj


      August 5, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. zandra

    re: 61 % support -I am sure that 61% of people in Mississippi supported jim crow, but that did not make it right or decent. It is time for people to act like adults, not scared children who run around calling names. Do illegals pay taxes, yes.
    in some cases, no in others. do they spend money that helps the local economies? yes. Is there a difference between an illegal who came here to work and plans to return home when the political situation is safer and a drug runner? yes. too broad a brush obscures the picture, although it may make you feel better. we, as a nation, need to act on our sense of simple human decency. the problem is complex; the answer will also be.

    July 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kim

    They ARE ciminals! They are here illegally and will continue to be here illegally because they don't want to pay taxes like we Americans do. Either get out of my country or legalize yourselves and pay your taxes. Quit your stupid whining!!! The only thing I don't like about this law is that the illegals have started spreading themselves acrossed the country.

    July 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. davwins

    In an age where terrorism is high in this country, I would be thankful for a law officer who questions the validity of citizenship on a routine traffic stop if it would save lives. On the question of this bill, why are the airlines allowed to question validity of citizenship yet legal authority is not? Seems to be a double standard here just for the sake of the illegals.

    July 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      I have to agree with this one! Not ALL terrorists are foreign, but the majority are.

      August 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      As an afterthought, a lot of drug dealers, gang members, smugglers, and other less than necessary groups are also foreign and should be deported, if not tried and convicted! MS 13 sound familiar? Latin Kings? How many of them do you think have green cards or visas? I can't think of any Haitian or Asian Gangs... trying to promote equality, you know!

      August 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. StIves

    Immigration laws....at the federal level these laws should have been strictly enforced! We as American Citizens cannot go to any country illegally, we would be detained no questions asked..and then we get no help from our own government; they will say, we know better or we had to business being in a country illegally, we are stuck and have to face what punishment that is rendered by that country laws. We must not make it easy for anyone to just come to these United States of America as it is to day. We should have strict control on the entrance and exits here in America and we now see how important that is! The question is now, what do we do? First, all immigration laws stand as is; if they are broken by anyone, it is the responsibilities of the immigration to enforce them no matter how long a person has been here in America, bottom line; there is no limitation on anyone committing murders and if anyone is here illegally, the same applies because that person has broken the law. Those who are here illegally, they must either volunteer to return and be given an opportunity to apply behind those who have already met the requirements and those who have not; must be give time on their applications for already being here in years gone by. This will in fact right what they did wrong and put them on the path for citizenship. This is the only way the wrong can be corrected. Staying here illegally will cause that person more problems because the Courts will made a decision soon and those caught up in something that they knowingly have done with put them in a position for deportation immediately! I would want to do the right things rather be put in back of a long line.....it is now up them to make their decisions.

    July 29, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Just Wondering

    Is it, therefore, safe to assume that the people who are moving out of Arizona right now, in fear of this new law – are illegal immigrants?

    July 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      ummm....I think so!

      July 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexVet

      and all I have to say is.....ADIOS! Just don't come to Texas!

      July 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. goober66

    and what is with driving a car without a valid driverlicense and insurance thats o k too?

    July 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TexVet

    Go home illegals!!! Hell, I'll go pick vegetables!

    July 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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