Monday, July 12, 2010

Praying the Rosary for Justice

Members of a Catholic community meet every night on a street corner in south Phoenix to pray the rosary. It’s their way of voicing opposition against SB 1070, Arizona’s new law that requires local police to check the immigration status of a person they have reasonable cause to believe might be in the US illegally. 

The reasonable cause part is what scares many in the Latino community. If you’re pulled over speeding, or having a cracked windshield, or a busted tail light and don’t speak English that could be probable cause. If you’re a Latino US citizen who doesn’t speak English and can’t prove your citizenship you could find yourself sitting in a county jail or even deported to Mexico. 

The law is wildly popular in Arizona and most of the US and has propelled Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, into the pantheon of national Republican leaders. But many Latinos, regardless of their immigration status or nationality, are concerned the law will lead to racial profiling and harassment.