Valley is Split on Arizona's Immigration Law

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Emotions continue to run strong when it comes to Arizona's tough new stance on immigration. The law gives police in Arizona, far-reaching authority to seek out undocumented immigrants. But a new exclusive Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA, finds people in the Valley are split. 49-percent say they agree with Arizona's law and 48-percent say they don't.

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Martin Cuevas was just 11-years-old when he and his family crossed the border from Mexico into California illegally.

"We had a lot of runs with the border patrol where they chased us, and it was not easy. Every time we went to work, we didn't know if we were going to come back," said Cuevas.

10 years later, Cuevas became a United States citizen. He lives in Porterville, and works for American Friends Service Committee, an organization dedicated to immigration rights.

Cuevas strongly opposes Arizona's new immigration law. He fears California may soon implement similar legislation, bringing racial profiling along with it.

"Even when I go to the store, they ask, do you speak English. So obviously I'll be a target for them, and that's what is so scary," said Cuevas.

Arizona's bill signed last Friday gives police the authority to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. And it's clear many in Valley are aware of what's happening there.

In an exclusive Action News Poll conducted by SurveyUSA, found 69-percent are aware of Arizona's tough immigration law. Only 29-percent hadn't heard of it. And of those familiar with the law, 48-percent said California should pass a similar one, 51-percent said it should not.

ABC 30 political analyst Tony Capozzi thinks it's highly unlikely the golden state will follow in Arizona's footsteps. But, some say, it's exactly what this state needs.

On our Facebook page Wednesday, Jamie wrote quote, "I fully agree with what Arizona is doing. I wish it would happen here."

Political analysts say immigration will be a hot topic in the race for California's next governor.

Opponents of Arizona's law, say they will protest any candidate who supports it.

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