Bobby Parker

Al Sharpton Comes to Arizona to Protest Immigration Law

Filed By Bobby Parker | May 06, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Al Sharpton, Arizona, binational, danny glover, immigration, latino, LGBT, protest, reform

Remember - "Forty percent of LGBT binational couples in the United States include a Latino family member. For them, and their loved ones, Arizona is now the most dangerous place in America." That's why it's important to know what's happening here.

al-sharpton.JPGPilgrim's Rest Baptist Church, a predominantly Black congregation, was filled to capacity with a huge overflow crowd perhaps numbering in the thousands. Inside a comprehensive cross-section of Arizonans were joined by Al Sharpton, the featured speaker. His dramatic speech fired up the emotions and when the meeting was over, the streets were filled with thousands of lighted candles as they marched and chanted the three miles to the Capitol Mall.

Earlier in the day actor/director Danny Glover met with Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon to lend his support for the Latino community in Arizona.

Both men expressed their approval of the Phoenix Suns for wearing their LosSuns jerseys in the game with the Spurs. They are now 3 wins and 0 losses while wearing LosSuns jerseys.

I admit that I have come late to the protest arena, but let me tell you what I see happening after the jump.

There is a groundswell movement in Arizona that is not going to be stopped until immigration reform is accomplished nationally. It is drawing the attention of others all across the nation. At the meeting were labor leaders, elected officials, a united clergy interfaith group of dozens of local ministers, lawyers, nonprofits, out of state organizers, and leaders of national organizations. In the crowd were our wonderful Latino friends. It has taken a couple of weeks for this all to come together. No one group has stepped in to be the "face" of the coalition; it truly seems to represent all major groups in its makeup.


For more than two weeks now there has been a constant presence on the Arizona Capitol Mall of protesters gathered urging a repeal of SB1070, the anti-immigration law passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer. They have vowed to be there for the next 90 days, when the law takes effect, or until it is stopped legally or administratively. If it goes into effect there will be massive civil disobedience rallies with participants from all over the country coming in support of the local Latino population.

The most dramatic thing that I have seen is the organization of young Latinos, many having parents who are here illegally, into a vibrant group of leaders for their fellow high school students. Ten high schools were represented last Saturday when a crowd I estimated at 5,000 completely surrounded the Capitol as they marched protesting this anti-immigration law. I took over 100 pictures of signs made by individuals to express the feelings in their hearts.

student-protester.JPGThe young lady that spoke tonight is graduating at the top of her class with a 4.0 grade average. She spoke about her father dying of cancer in Mexico and her mother had to move her young family to the U.S. to stay with relatives so that they would be able to survive. This young lady said when she came here she loved to go to school, but would go home each day worried because she didn't understand the teachers or fellow students and couldn't do the homework. She learned English and said that she didn't even realize she was illegal until much later and when she got into high school she found out that even though an excellent student she was denied many benefits and scholarships because of her immigration status.

She vowed to never quit until she wins the education she believes she is entitled to so her dreams can come true.

These youth are bright. They are being melded together in unity by the caldron that is brewing in Arizona and I foresee a future where they will not stand for any inequality in our nation.

The following is a letter everyone was asked to sign at the church services.

Dear President Obama:

vigil.jpegI am writing to ask that you take immediate action to (1) defend the people of Arizona and (2) reform immigration policy pursuant to your existing authority as President of the United States. Arizona's new law is the direct result of the federal government's reckless empowerment of local enforcement agencies to enforce what should be an exclusive federal responsibility, immigration law. The nation expects you to demonstrate leadership and moral courage by acting swiftly to stop this bill from taking effect and eliminating federal programs which led to it creation.

Accordingly, I specifically request that you:

1. Reassert the federal government's exclusive control over immigration law by making clear that the state and local police do not have the inherent authority to enforce immigration law.

2. Immediately suspend and terminate all police-ICE partnerships, including 287(g) agreements and the so-called "Secure Communities Initiative.'

3. Direct the Department of Homeland Security to refuse to take custody of anyone charged with violating provision of SB 1070.


Secondly, there was the following pledge:

vigil2.jpegPledge of non-compliance with SB 1070.

As an expression of my solidarity with the people of Arizona in opposing the provisions of SB 1070, I will not comply with any and all mandates in SB 1070 requiring that I present proof of citizenship until SB 1070 is invalidated or repealed. Furthermore, I will practice selective patronage, spending my money with businesses that oppose SB 1070, and boycotting those that supported SB 1070.


I am continually and solidly impressed with the humility and honest goodness I find in the Latino community members who are brave enough to make signs and bring their families to rallies at the Capitol. They are good people who deserve every chance we can give them to live and work in our country as equal members of society.

Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

TheRumpledOne | May 6, 2010 5:04 PM



§ 1325. Improper entry by alien

TITLE 8 > CHAPTER 12 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part VIII > § 1324a

§ 1324a. Unlawful employment of aliens



We should treat immigrants like Mexico does:

At present, Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law says, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues."

That would simplify things.

Operation Wetback was a 1954 operation by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to remove about one million illegal immigrants from the southwestern United States, focusing on Mexican nationals.

Simple question:

What happens if someone jumps the fence and wanders around a gated community without an ID and a resident of the community calls the cops saying someone that doesn't look like they belong here is roaming the streets? The cops arrive. They would ask the wanderer a few questions. If wanderer does not have a valid reason for being inside the gated community, the cops would escort them out, wouldn't they? Isn't a country, like the USA, a "gated community", too?

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 7, 2010 2:40 AM

We should defend immigrant and imported workers if only because, like (most of) us, they work for a living. They're not parasites like the looter rich or their enablers including most lawyers, cult workers and all politicians. They actually work for a living and often under the worst conditions imaginable. They live in fear of ICE being called in if they organize for better wages or benefits. They're subjected to racist harassment and violence, often by the bosses who employ them.

Defending working people under attack is elementary - it's a principle.

Here's what we should insist on:

1. Immigrant and imported workers, like all working people, should be protected by the same laws, such as they are, that protect other workers and consumers, encouraged to join trade union and enjoy trade union wages and benefits and, in spite of Obama's racist views, have the right to health care.

2. They should have the right of dual citizenship and the right to vote here and in their country of origin.

3. The racist posse's on the border should be disbanded by force and their members indicted as terrorists.

ICE often mistreats GLBT foreign born people with HIV or AIDS and more than one death has been attributed to their criminal misconduct. The problem is pervasive in US prisons.

The borders between Canada, the US and Mexico are open to the predatory looter rich of all three countries because or Clinton's NAFTA and other FTA's. The result has been the devastation of Mexico's economy and environment. If the predatory rich can cross borders then the same rules should apply to working people overwhelmed by their predation.

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust?

A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
Letter From A Birmingham Jail, 16 April 1963.

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.