The new “papers please” Arizona anti-immigrant law SB 1070, which requires certain members of the immigrant community to be prepared to prove their citizenship status at every turn, has obvious racist implications. Additionally, it is particularly harmful to immigrant women who face domestic abuse.
Federal immigration law allows victims of serious crimes in the United States to gain legal residency via a U-visa given that the victim cooperates with law enforcement. How can immigrant women in Arizona trust going to law enforcement when “lawful contact” with cops can get them detained and deported? The new climate of fear and terror unleashed on immigrant communities in Arizona does little to deter crime and ends up putting women in danger.
MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) are currently working to get an injunction to SB 1070 even as Arizona tries to strengthen it with more ludicrous bills. While the law is a slippery slope to losing more civil liberties, SB 1070 has gifted us with a great opportunity to organize for immigrant rights on a new scale.
Here is what you can do this weekend to protest Arizona and restore some sanity to our broken immigration system:
1. Sign the email petition to your Congressional representatives, the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security asking them not to cooperate with SB 1070, file injunction to the law, and furthermore, start taking leadership in pushing for real comprehensive immigration reform.
2. Attend a May 1 immigrant rights march near you. Find locations here
3. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Rep Grijalva called for an economic boycott of Arizona, which means not traveling to Arizona and avoiding the expenditure of any dollars in Arizona. The American Immigration Lawyers’ Association is already boycotting by canceling it’s annual conference in Scottsdale. Others are asking the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to divest from Arizona and for the Major League Baseball move the 2011 All-Star Game from Arizona.
4. Civil disobedience. Take a hint from the Capitol Nine who chained themselves to Capitol building doors. Leave your licenses at home. Walk out of schools and walk into local Congressional offices of politicians who have not cosponsored the DREAM Act and refuse to stand up for immigration reform. Conducts sit-ins, hunger strikes and flash mobs.
5. Use Online Tools to Organize. Use hashtag #LegalizeAZ on Twitter to connect with more people taking action against SB 1070 and follow MayDay events with an #m4a hashtag. Also join the Facebook group 1 million strong against SB 1070 and don’t forget to follow growing immigrant youth taking actions on Twitter and Facebook.