Los Angeles News

Thousands head to AZ for immigration protest

Friday, May 28, 2010

A protest march against Arizona's immigration law is scheduled for Saturday in Phoenix. Organizers expect more than 50,000 supporters from around the country.

Some are going to protest Senate Bill 1070, the illegal immigration law while others will be there to support it.

A group of more than 2,000 Southern California activists left Friday morning for the weekend demonstration against Arizona's controversial immigration law.

"People have been here in this country for many years, and all they want to do is adjust their status, so we need to address that issue," said protester Yenny Diaz.

They plan on taking everything they need including food and water so they don't spend any money in Arizona. These protestors also want the Obama administration to order immigration officials not to accept custody of illegal immigrants brought in under the new law.

"We're going to show the nation that there is an urgent need for some type of reform and some type of change in the way that immigration is dealt with," said protester Jason Zepeda.

That upsets the family of Jamiel Shaw. Their son was allegedly murdered by an illegal immigrant, Pedro Espinoza, who was released from jail. A judge ruled Friday that they cannot sue the sheriff's department for not turning him over to immigration authorities.

"Espinoza was illegally in the country. He's from Mexico. That's not a lie or something we made up. That's what happened. He was released from the county jail without calling ICE. Twenty-four hours later, he was over here killing an American citizen," said Jamiel's father Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Meanwhile, Tea Party supporters of the Arizona law will make a trip to that state as well. They're calling it, "Buy Arizona Now," and the idea is to boycott the boycott.

"It's about spending your money in Arizona and being opposed to these boycotts which are nothing more than a violent attack on business owners anyway," said Tea Party organizer Tony Katz. "The business owners have done nothing wrong and they're the ones being attacked by the political hacks, whether it's Ed Reyes, Dennis Zine or Janice Hahn or whether it's Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco."

Justice department officials told Arizona's attorney general and the governor Friday that the federal government has serious reservations about the immigration law. The strong message is that the Obama administration is prepared to go to court to block it before it takes effect on July 29.

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