Arizona people raise $1.6 million to appeal the block on immigration reform
Donations to defend the controversial law grow as protests are held across the country
Documents from Governor Jan Brewer’s office on Friday showed that more than $1.3 million has been contributed to the appealing group while the rest had been sent by mail.
Brewer’s lawyers are appealing Judge Susan Bolton’s decision to block parts of the law that clamp down on illegal immigration. The decision was announced on Wednesday.
That afternoon Brewer’s cause received $75,000 in donations. Donations also surged after the United States Department of Justice filed to challenge the law on July 8.
On Thursday, Brewer referred to the blocking of the aspects of the immigration law, which would stop police checking the public’s immigration status if they are under suspicion, as “a bump in the road”.
Protests against the law have been escalating all week. In Arizona, 50 of the protesters were arrested outside the courthouse in Arizona as Brewer
applied to appeal.
On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters began their march at dawn and gathered in front of the courthouse as Bolton was giving her decision. They also marched on the office of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made a crackdown on illegal immigration one of his main issues.
As the Sheriff’s deputies in riot gear intervened, 23 demonstrators were arrested as they beat the doors of his office. Dozens of others were arrested throughout the day trying to cross police lines, enter closed off areas or sitting in the street in peaceful protest.
“Sheriff Joe, we are here, we will not live in fear,” was the main chant of the day.
In Tuscon, 50-to-100 people gathered downtown. Half were protesting and the other supporting the law.
In Los Angeles, 200 protesters invaded a busy intersection. Police left them there for three hours before declaring it an unlawful assembly. They lay in the street in a circle.
In New York, 300 immigration advocates gathered in Manhattan. “We won a slight battle in Arizona, we’ve got to continue with the war," said Councilman Jumaane Williams, a first-generation Caribbean-American.
Though Bolton seemed to indicate that the state has a good chance of winning their federal-immigration-law-trumps-state-law argument, the key sponsor of Arizona’s law, Representative Russell Pearce, a Republican, said the state would ultimately win the case.
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