Hundreds of thousands of people marched in over eighty cities on Saturday in support of immigrant rights and to protest Arizona’s new immigration law that allows police officers to stop and interrogate anyone they suspect is an undocumented immigrant. Some of the largest May Day protests took place in Los Angeles, Dallas, Milwaukee, New York and Washington. Outside the White House, thirty-five people were arrested, including Congressman Luis Gutierrez. The Illinois Democrat was wearing a t-shirt that read “Arrest me, not my friends.” At the Washington rally, Arizona resident and Navajo Indian Roger Huskey voiced support for a boycott of the state of Arizona.
Roger Huskey: “No, I don’t want to be treated like this. I’m not going to accept this. And when we take a look at something like the tourism, like I said, it’s going to affect the dollars. People already have this perception. My mom has been pulled over in the last week, my dad, my brother and his wife, all within a week, and this law hasn’t even taken into effect.”
In Los Angeles, an Argentine immigrant named Tamara took part in the May Day protest.
Tamara: “I’m Argentinean. Even though I may not look 'immigrant' and I may not be stopped in Arizona, I’m still an immigrant, and I think it’s important for all of us to show up and show the different faces of immigration and the different faces of the American youth.”
The actor Martin Sheen also attended the Los Angeles rally for immigrant rights.
Martin Sheen: “In a sense, something bad has been turned into something good. We need to thank the lawmakers and the governor of Arizona for SB 1070, because it has reunited the national debate on immigration reform to a fever pitch. So, Arizona, muchas gracias, agradecido.”