AZ Students Protest in John McCain's Senate Office

Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Since the new SB 1070 immigration laws were passed in Arizona, there has been a steady stream of protests. High school students walked out of classes in Flagstaff and University of Arizona students urged their school president to formally denounce the laws.

But the bravest act we've heard about so far has to be the five immigrants who dressed up in their graduation caps and gowns and held a sit-in in the Tuscon, AZ offices of Senator John McCain. The students, three of whom were openly risking deportation due to their immigration status, called upon the five-term Senator to assist young immigrants in finding a way to legal citizenship. It's an ironic turn of events for McCain, one of the original cosponsors of the DREAM act, a bill that would have given young undocumented immigrants the chance to attend college and give them six years to work towards provisional citizenship. “I’ve been organizing for years, and a lot of my friends have become frustrated and lost hope,” one of the students, Lizbeth Mateo, 25, told the NY Times. “We don’t have any more time to be waiting. I really believe this year we can make it happen.”

Even local police are getting in on the act. Two police officers from Phoenix have formally challenged the law for fear that it will force law enforcement to racially profile Latinos. "Before the signing of this bill, citizens would wave at me. Now they don't even want to make eye contact." said David Salgado, a 19-year veteran of the Phoenix police force who is suing the city and the governor in an attempt to block the law, according to the Associated Press.

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris, also a harsh critic of the law, told the AP: "When you get a law that leads a state down this path, where the enforcement is targeted to a particular segment of the population, it's very difficult not to profile."



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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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