Arizona Community Press | www.azcommunitypress.org
Today, July 29th, over 250 people marched through the streets of Phoenix from Steele Indian School Park to the ICE Field Office. The crowd was gathered to celebrate resistance on the third anniversary of SB 1070. People of all ages marched with their signs and banners. Those marching included people who are currently facing deportation or have loved ones and family currently in detention.
Aaron Rayos, whose wife was arrested in one of Arpaio’s workplace raids 5 years ago, rallied the crowd, “My family were victims of racist laws and racial profiling. Now, because of the community fighting back, my wife was just granted a one year stay of removal last week. We are here celebrating our community’s power and will not stop fighting until all the deportations are stopped.”
SB 1070 went into effect on July 29th, 2010. Since that day there have been tourism boycotts, legal challenges, and physical resistance opposing SB 1070 throughout the globe. While some states have duplicated SB 1070 other voices have come out against it. Puente Human Rights Movement, a grassroots organization who organized today’s march, along with other community groups have been organizing against SB1070 since it was enacted three years ago. Through community organizing and political pressure Puente has reported ” forty successful Stop Deportations campaigns since January”.
In the last few weeks here in Arizona there have been high profile victories and struggles in the battle against deportations. It was announced on July 16th that a judge had granted a motion to close the deportation cases of Carlos and Sandra Figueroa. Last week the the DREAM 9 crossed the U.S. Mexico border to demand a right to return and justice for the 1.7 million community members who have been deported over the last few years. They are currently being held at the Eloy Detention Center. On July 17th Sherriff Arpaio conducted a worksite raid at a Uncle Sam’s restaurant.
Natally Cruz, organizer with the Puente Movement, said to the crowd gathered at the march today, “The time has come for us to take our community’s power to the top, and demand an end to all deportations. As the immigration reform debate continues, we are losing over 1,000 people a day to deportations. We march to demand that President Obama stop hiding behind promises of reform, and that he put a moratorium on deportations now.”
**Featured Photo by Robert Haasch of Sand Angel Photography