Immigrant Allies in Reno and Elsewhere Protest Unjust Arizona Law

We alerted our Nevada immigration blog readers to the imminent passage of SB1070, a recently passed Arizona law that takes drastic measures to address the slow-growing issue of illegal immigration in that state. Unfortunately, the forces at play in Arizona’s politics were too strong to overcome a nationwide outcry against the bill, and Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed it into law on April 23. Now, immigrants — naturalized U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and unauthorized aliens — and their allies are fighting back against a law that most thoughtful observers say is unjust, unconstitutional, and ultimately self-defeating.

As happened in the 1990s when Arizona refused to acknowledge the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, Americans from across the country are voting with their dollars against Arizona. Several municipalities in California have passed resolutions either condemning the law or even barring themselves from contracting with Arizona-based companies for goods and services as long as the law is in effect. In Reno, Nevada, the city’s new, popular Reno Aces baseball team may suffer from decreased enthusiasm because the AAA team’s professional partner is none other than the Arizona Diamondbacks. The baseball team may be the target of particularly harsh treatment because its GM gave generously to the state’s Republican political machine, which ensured the law’s passage.

There is dissent from within, however. The Phoenix Suns basketball team made national headlines as it donned specialty “Los Suns” jerseys for Game 2 of its NBA playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs of Texas. The uniforms were meant as a muted but powerful statement of opposition to the recently passed law. Also, the sheriffs of several Arizona counties have declared that they will not enforce the law, which does not take effect for several months.

(It is worth noting the crass politics of this whole affair: the law was written to not take effect until the end of July, which is ample time for a judge to issue an injunction freezing the law before anyone puts it to use. In other words, the Republican politicians in Arizona who thought it was savvy to purchase right-wing votes with this draconian law may not actually have to stomach its enforcement against Arizona families. Still, the fear inspired by the law’s passage has already begun to erode the remaining trust the Arizona immigrant community has in its enfranchised neighbors.)

For more coverage of immigration issues and the fight for a reform of our immigration system, stay tuned to this blog. You can also contact us for a free immigration consultation with our Nevada immigration lawyer to find out about how the changing legal landscape may affect you and your family.

Leave a Reply