Thousands in Phoenix protest Arizona’s immigration law

The demonstration, the largest since SB 1070 was signed into law in April, draws a diverse crowd. Backers of the law hold their own rally at a suburban stadium in the evening.

Protesters in Phoenix rally against Arizona’s immigration law during a march to the state Capitol. (Joshua Lott, Reuters / May 29, 2010)

By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times

8:59 PM PDT, May 29, 2010

Reporting from Phoenix —

Under a broiling desert sun, tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday slowly marched five miles to the state Capitol to rally against Arizona’s controversial new immigration law.

There was no official crowd estimate, but the march was by far the biggest demonstration since Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on April 23. The law makes it a state crime to lack immigration papers and requires police to determine the status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.

The law’s backers, who held their own rally at a suburban stadium Saturday evening, contend that the measure is necessary to protect against violence seeping across the border from Mexico. “Why not make the country like it’s supposed to be? Borders define us,” said Don Baggett, who came to the rally from a Houston suburb. Continue reading