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. Dawna Joye

    What is this Judge thinking? Until now this was just a fight to stop Illegal Immigration. We have our Immigration laws, but the illegals ignore them. Even our own people undermine American workers. Like what happen to a family member of mine who was looking for a job in an orchard. The orchard owner asked him. "Why should I hire you when I can hire two Mexicans for the same price?" Then if you do get a job in an orchard the Mexicans harass you by saying things like "What you doing here, go home this is our work place?"
    Mexicans, legal or illegal are guests in our country. With what right to they protest in our streets against our laws? Why don't they do that in their own country? Why don't they fight for a better live against their own government? Because they know that the police over there will shoot them or put them in prison. Here they know they can get away with everything. So what do we do? We cower down because we are afraid of what the world will think of us. Instead of the Mexicans respecting our laws, they protest until we change our laws to please them. Then we have these Hollywood Stars and movie makers who want to boycott Arizona if they don't back off this law. How can we fight illegal Immigration if our police have to do their work with their hands tied behind their backs. Wake up before it is to late.

    July 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Animal

    The law does not promote racism, it does not single out all hispanic folks to be harrassed. Even I had been stopped by the border patrol and asked my citizenship. My birth certificate reads caucasian. So far the only racial profiling I have seen are the Mexicans who say I SHOULD LEARN SPANISH. Their reason for it is because they think I am Mexican. They are the ones that I know of who are pushing things. I also had three illegals try to kick my front door in while I was sleeping. My wife and daughter fought to keep it closed and woke me up. I tried to reason with them to get them to leave, but finally had to draw down on them and made it clear I would shoot. Under the law I had done more than what was reasonable and would have been justified.Now I no longer live that close to the border, but near one of the other and more shocking corridors that is being used to sneak in. A sheriffs deputy was shot and wounded about 20 miles from where I now live. I also think that those who are trying to stop Az from stemming the tide coming in, should not only put their money into supporting these people so the rest of the country do not have too. Also they should be held accountable for every death that happens in the desert from those who are crossing the border this way. They dont think of how many deaths that they are actually causing. They dont care that some morgues are so full, that refrigerated trucks have to be used to store the bodies. Lastlyn conerning Obamas comment about him not wanting anyone to be hasseled because of how they look, I have three grandkids who are Mexican American, but to look at them you wouldnt know it. Am I the only one who seems to have caught the fact that to Obama they all look alike?

    July 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    There are no jobs in Az, so the illegals are not able to work, and the lucky ones who are working are taking jobs AWAY FROM AMERICANS WHO REALLY WANT TO BE Americans, so the non working illegal aliens are sucking dry the money to support the social services like food stamps and AHCCS ( health care), So if you say the illegals leaving is hurting business's then you are making that statement for some political reason and both sides of American politics are destroying this country just for selfish political gains. Non working illegal aliens don't have the money to support Az. business.

    July 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lynnette

    This law may be a little harsh but how else can we get it through people's heads! If you want to live in our country, do what you have to to be legal. . . Visa, Citizenship, etc.
    If you do not go through the steps to be legal, you are an ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT. Do they not know what the word ILLEGAL means? If you do not have the papers, go back to your country and start them!
    As for the businesses, you shouldn't have hired them in the first place which makes you illegal. You should be doing background checks! They do background checks to live in an apartment so how the hell are these illegal immigrants being able to rent or buy homes, get loans and jobs or enroll children in school, etc. People who are illegally living in our country are getting benefits, taking our jobs, etc.

    July 29, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fustercluck

    Francisca Munoz" - There's one more name to add to "THE LIST"
    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.

    July 29, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawna Joye

      If you are here without papers, then you are illegal. If you have a job without papers then you are an illegeal worker. If you really want to be an American then go back home, file for the legal papers, pay the fees (we all have to pay fees for one thing or the other) and wait, wait, wait as long as it takes. Just because something costs to much or takes to long doesn't give anyone the right to break the law to get what they want

      July 29, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lynnette

    Maybe they need to know what the word 'ILLEGAL' means.

    1. Ilegal (unlawful), contra ley.

    * illegal immigrant -> inmigrante ilegal

    July 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AJ

    Just to be clear to Kim: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are NOT different countries. They plus England make up the United Kingdom. The UK is a State in the international political sense (not the US sense). The US is a sovereign State and so is Mexico. Any resident of England can move to Scotland, Wales etc. and work, and vice versa. There is absolutely no parallel with illegal immigrants in AZ. Check Wikipedia if you have any questions.

    July 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steve

    Did she say a person couldn't be illegal? And she go to college in Ca. Man what do they teach their. The illegals are leaving Tennessee like rats jumping from a sinking ship,and no one are pushing them,they know the free party is over. Tennessee will not put up with this BS. Shaw Ind. or hiring now,

    July 29, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      A person cannot be illegal. But their citizenship status and their unlawful presence in the States can be, and is, illegal. Get out and try again the right way.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Catch 22

    Its a bad situation both sides can be debated i wonder if people commenting realize how hard it is to come to this country legally? Only people that have big bucks can come. Trust me i am asking for my family and 10 yrs later and thousands of dollars spent and still waiting. I'm pretty sure if working papers were offered the "illegal" immigrants would gladly pay taxes which would help the economy. and not all immigrants are criminals and the ones that are i agree to send them back but dont forget to send back all other races to the only people that truly belong here are the natives.

    July 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dwayne

      I don't care how hard it is to come here. In fact, I hope it's really hard. We don't need any more people in the U.S. The ones who we allow to come here should have to jump through some hoops and have something to contribute. Allowing the poorest and least educated to swarm in doesn't improve the U.S. in any way, and in fact is a major drain on our resources.

      Your comment about the only ones truly belonging here being natives is baloney. Every nation has been invaded at some point. The "natives" in North America originally came from Asia and may have displaced people who were here before them. There's really no such thing as a "native" anywhere on the face of the planet today. That doesn't mean we have to allow our country to be invaded by people who haven't earned the right to be here.

      July 29, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      Dwayne is 100% right, about "Natives" and about hoops jumping. How many well to do, respectable, professionals who DO jump through the hoops to become an American citizen end up with Street Gangs and Drug Cartels? It's typically the poor, the down trodden, and the uneducated that get swept up in that life style. And to this I say, STAY OUT! Illegal activites performed by ANYONE is NOT welcome. I am not implying that all poor immigrants are gang memebers or drug dealers. But it's good to be choosey. In fact, take a look at Mexico's immigrations policy and tell me how hard it is to get citizenship in the states! Just click on the link!

      August 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AJ

    I am a legal immigrant. I educated myself and came here on a work permit. I worked my way through getting a green card and am now a tax paying, law abiding citizen. I sympathize with people who aspire to immigrate to the US, but I do not condone people breaking the law to come here.

    The US needs a workable guest worker program with protection against abusive employers, assurance of fair wages, and guaranteed repatriation in the event that the worker breaks the law or cannot keep a job. A reasonable path to citizenship, including such reasonable expectations as fluency in English, the ability to pass a high school graduation test, no criminal record, etc. after a reasonable length of time (7-10 years) would help ensure that the US receives productive immigrants who are responsible, can assimilate into US culture, and will not be a burden on the states and cities in which they live.

    July 29, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Good for you!!! It is people like you that make America the melting pot we are!!!!

      July 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Samantha

    If you pay taxes, I am okay with you being here. If you pay for health care, I am okay with you being here. If all of the costs are equal to what I pay I am okay with you being here. I am a single mother and a college student and do not have much money. I also would like to add that I do not take handouts from the government other than help with college. I know what would happen if I were an illegal citizen in other countries, the treatment would not be government handouts. Does anyone know what it takes to gain citizenship in Mexico???????? You need to prove that you can afford your own health care and prove to have money in the bank to support yourself. Do you all know what happens if you overstay your visa in Mexico?????? 2 years in a jail that does not offer amenities such as what the U.S. prison systems do. This is not a racial issue, it is ethical. We are doing, or trying to do, what we need to do to keep this country from falling away from its values. Our ancestors worked their butts off to get where they are and where we are today. They faced the same hardships illegals to, but instead of looking for handouts they worked to secure their futures here in the U.S. the honest way!!!!

    July 29, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      Samantha, and anyone else who is interested, it was your comment that got me interested in Mexican immigration requirements. I found this website. I'm impressed.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    SB 1070 has nothing to do with a persons right to immigrate to the US or where they come form. It does however have everything to do with how they get here and if they done't come here in the correct form how to deal with them. The principals of this county are "Give us your tired, your poor, those that are yearning to be free". These are great principals for a growing country, but now with a country that has a growing deficit and can barley take care of its own people these principals are better on paper then in practice. I have no issue with immigrants so long as they have something to contribute to our country, so long as they pay there taxes, pay for them selves, learn ENGLISH, and don't be a burden on society. Most other countries moved beyond the need to help everyone a long time ago. With most countries if you cannot pay the bill, you get no health care if you are not from that country (assuming they have nationalized medicine). In almost every other country being illegal is a crime and this is because most understand that illegal immigrants for the most part are costing countries more then they make off of those that are in the country legally. I see absolutely no problem with asking a person for there papers if they break the law to start with, heck resident aliens are required by law to have their green card on them at all times anyway and in most cases if you are visiting here and break the law they will ask for your pass port. All we are trying to do in AZ is set the president that enough is enough, if the government is not willing to do there job then there is nothing wrong with assisting them in their inability to do so!

    July 30, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Side note: when a cop runs your Drivers license it automatically informs him or her in all 50 states what your nationality is. So if your don't break the law then what are your afraid of to begin with! Those that do immigrate here legally should be glad that unlike most other countries we don't have mandated military service to become a citizen!

      July 30, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. hungryfortruth

    wow, these blogs run the whole gamit between downright racism to inteligent discourse. It's hard to wade thru it. All I know is that I live in a black dirt farm area in Eastern NY, and the fields are tended by mostly Mexican farm workers. These people work in the baking sun 10 hours a day, and they live in tin huts about 12' x 12' -- with whole familes living in tin huts @ 12' x 12'. They get paid very little, and yet they still manage to send money home to their families in Mexico. They aren't taking jobs away from citizens, because NO AMERICANS WANT TO DO THAT KIND OF WORK, IT DOESN'T PAY ENOUGH, AND ITS GRUELING. Lets face it, they are exploited and poor, and YET many of them stay, become citizens, and some start their own businesses eventually. So the myth of them being uneducated is not true. Their personalities vary, as in any other aspect of society, some are educated, some are not. They all have stories to tell. Mostly they come to the US for a better life because there are no jobs in their country, and because the Cartels have taken over many towns, and they live in fear of them. It just seems that there should be a more efficient way for them to work here. Oh, and they get paid by payroll checks, so they do pay taxes. Maybe the employers should take more responsibilty for their papers, and stop exploiting them for their cheap labor. They should all have green cards, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve rights as human beings.

    July 30, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cuity

      Yes, they do get payroll checks.... at our expense sometimes. Have you heard of SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD? Where lost or stolen wallets are then sold to people who use the ID's and SS cards to copy them several times and sell them for hundreds to illegals who will pay hundreds of dollars for them, so they can go get a job. Later during TAX time, us Americans or legal citizens get a nasty letter from the IRS saying "you did not report all of your earnings, your refund is being frozen" year after year.
      Also, about your comment stating that Americans won't do the grueling jobs. I say if you can't pay a decent wage or atleast minimum wage to a worker, then your business has a flaw..... it can't make money...... I'm a Hispanic Male, from PHX, AZ son of a Mexican father (legal immigrant) and a 3rd generation American (Texas) mother. I suport the bill known as "SB 1070", sorry my fellow Hispanics, but the law is the law, I have to think of what kind of country my 2 kids are gonna grow up in.

      July 30, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      You're right, no American WANTS to do that job. But once the demand for the job gets high enough, Americans WILL take care of our own hard and dirty jobs. It doesn't matter if an illegal immigrant is uneducated or not, they still have no legal right to be here. For the few who manage to get jobs with payrole check, good for them because they give a SMALL amount back for the crime they commit by being an illegal immigrant. Most get paid cash. This is especially true in the construction professions. I KNOW this from personal experience. And it's WRONG. The people themselves I know are great people. I would love for them to be citizens, BUT their illegal status is breaking our laws and needs to be STOPPED! If their own homes and countries are jobless and overrun by corrupt governments and cartels, then it is their responsibility to correct the issue and take a stand for their own rights and livelihood in their own countries and STOP invading ours and demanding equal treatment and liberty when they don't even belong here and do NOTHING to EARN it! They need to STOP running from their own problems and fix them themselves!

      August 6, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ElectricDubb

      I would do the work and so would alot of other legal Americans who are trying to avoid getting help from the government. I want an American wage is all. Alot of "legals" are struggling to survive and it's because of idiots like you who think we should let these fence jumpers stay. Why wouldn't you want us to have jobs over them? we at least will spend the money here and help our own economy. Whose taxes pay for your kids to go to school? Yours and mine. If you think our citizens are so wrong for believing this get the F*&K out of the US. And I don't feel one ounce of sympathy for them living in a 12' by 12' tent. If they would use some of that money on housing like the rest of us instead of sending it home they would'nt have to live in such lousy conditions.

      August 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bo Duke

    Here is just some of the facts that we've all heard over and over, but they're true.

    1. 90% of the drugs funneling into the U.S. come through Mexico. I'm all for the legalization of marijuana. Let's grow the best pot around, tax the growers and gain a new revenue base. It won't remedy all the violence around the border, but it's a step towards cutting off the head of the snake.

    2. The majority of the prison population is occupied by Latinos. Many are just plain thugs. The Lakers win a championship the Mexicans want to riot, break store windows, loot and run wild in the streets. Pure thugs that we just don't need.

    This isn't the great melting pot of a country anymore...it's time to become a little more hard nosed about the problems raging out of control instead of walking on eggshells about the Mexican's feelings..too bad!
    It just makes me sick that we're letting in not only Mexicans, but El Salvadorians with MS 13 tattooed on their eyelids. This is one of the most vicious street gangs that we just let waltz into our country. These gangs need to be exterminated like the fleas and roaches they are. And as far as their anchor babies go...I say we punt them back across the wall like footballs because chances are they're going to grow up like the filthy, thieving parents.

    This is going to be tough people, but we need to make a strong united stand. It won't be long before the violence that's happening in Juarez and other cities is on your doorstep as well.

    July 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Friendly Reminder

      Thank you. You know what you are talking about.

      August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Daryl

    Well there you have it. Illegal Mexican immigrants are able to trespass the borders as much as they want and law prevents them from being questioned or deported. I'm moving to England.

    August 1, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
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