Tens of Thousands Protest Arizona Immigration Law Nationwide
In cities across the nation on Saturday, tens of thousands rallied, angered by a new controversial immigration law passed in Arizona. 50,000 were reported in Los Angeles. The protesters are demanding that President Obama take some action against the law now.
"Sleeping giant awakened"
"I want to thank the governor of Arizona because she's awakened a sleeping giant," said labor organizer John Delgado who attended a rally in New York where authorities estimated 6,500 gathered.
In cities nationwide, including Washington, DC and LA, activists, families, students and even politicians marched, practiced civil disobedience and "came out" about their citizenship status in the name of rights for immigrants.
An estimated 12 million undocumented aliens live in the US, according to estimates.
Gloria Estefan, politicians, join rallies ;
Huffington Post reports students withdraw from Arizona universities
Singer Gloria Estefan kicked off a massive downtown march in LA, speaking to the throngs in Spanish and English, and reminding her fans that the US is a nation of immigrants. She is Cuban born, and professed her love for America.
Among immigrant rights activists, public outcry over Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's signed legislation of last week has been huge. Many call the law racist, unconstitutional, and say that it will increase punitive racial profiling, diverting Law Enforcement from true criminal activity.
At a park on Chicago's West Side, nearly 8,000 gathered and marched. Political activists mingled with students and food vendors.
Obama had promised to take on immigration reform within the first hundred days, but Obama and Congress became bogged down with healthcare and economic reform, and have yet to address this matter.
"Obama promised legalization in the first 100 days and lied" said one protester with a pinnochio Obama mask.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, was arrested with several others in a demonstration of civil disobedience against the Arizona law at the White House.
In Dallas, police estimated at least 20,000 attended a Saturday rally.
May 1 is International Workers Day, and was picked to highlight the issue, because of the timing and the urgency. Counter protesters were also seen with signs at many of the rallies.