Pinoys in Arizona divided over new state law

People hold hands and pray as they protest against Senate Bill 1070 outside the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona April 29, 2010. Credit: REUTERS/Joshua Lott

By Raul Legaspi and Ging Reyes – Filipinos in Arizona are divided over the state’s new law that many are calling anti-immigrant. Under the new law, police may question anyone who looks like an undocumented immigrant, and arrest even authorized immigrants who do not carry their immigrant ID.

“I feel that’s very unfair, it allows too much racial profiling. I have a friend who is Hispanic, his wife was pulled over for no other reason but just because of the color of her skin,” said Dennis Dayon of Gilbert.

Richard Smith of Phoenix is married to a Filipina. “My wife is an immigrant. Legally, it took 2 years for her to get here. If you come across south of the border, nothing happens, but yet you can come and go as you please illegally. The law is fair. Immigration laws are there for a reason,” Smith said.

Meantime, religious leaders gathered at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson promising to resist the new immigration law.

The church’s pastor says the law is sinful.

“It is immoral, unethical and unjust. And as faith leaders, we are called to struggle against sin, to call our leaders into repentance and to call our community into action,” said Rev. Alison Harrington of the Southside Presbyterian Church.

The law forbids knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant and picking up day laborers on a public street.

Church leaders plan to fight the law by creating labor pick-up points on church and temple property. Some of the leaders say they are willing to risk arrest to fight a law that they say is unjust.

Find more like this: Immigration, News

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