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)

    HAHAHA seems to me that everyone has forgoten that they all started out here illegally in some way or another it might have been your father grand-father or even your great grand-father, but i agree that illegal immigration is hurting this country but personally i think everyone should be put on a boat just lkie how they got here in the first place an shipped bac to were they came from, we were doing fine until everyone started coming to our country. SO YOU ALL ARE ILLEGALS, now shut up and leave

    August 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Jay, that means you too. Get on the boat son, because your great great great grandfather came here illegally, lol.

      August 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Desiree

    So I suppose everyone here who is for SB1070 is also in agreement that comprehensive immigration reform is needed?

    August 6, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      Yes, I am very m uch in agreement to that!

      Check this article out, it will be interesting, especially given your comment!

      August 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JM_Snell

    Please, everyone who has an opinion, pro or con SB1070, Read This:

    August 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael

    Legalize marijuana and put the drug cartels out of business. End of story.

    August 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JM_Snell

      This is about illegal immigration, not drug wars and pot. Even without drug cartels, which I promise deal in more than marijuana, there will still be illegal immigration. And even without illegal immigration, which I promise are not all actively working in drug cartels, there will still be drug cartels.

      August 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. erose_norway

    I'm american (living in Norway after applying for residency and the right to work in Norway) and am married to a Norwegian, we're doing everything the legal way, he is only allowed in the USA for max 3 months and is not allowed to work. Which is fine with us. We will apply for a green card and he will come in legally or not at all. Why do the other countries feel it is alright to break the laws of the US government. They are then undermining our legal system.

    August 9, 2010 at 4:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I agree, and the sympathy of much of the public towards it undermines it further. There is a system that people should follow and it is appalling how many people feel that it is OK to break it.

      August 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David Lopez

    I married an illegal mexican girl in the U.S. and had her legalized in 90DAYS!!! so what is the problem mexicans.

    August 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Lopez

    Illegal mexicans need to file their papers and send in the fees and guess what THEIR LEGAL! So stop protesting and crying. There is nothing worse than a stupid mexican.

    August 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Indianmexican


    August 21, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
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