Friday, July 23, 2010

Rainy Night in Phoenix

A family takes shelter under an umbrella at a rosary service against SB 1070 during a storm in Phoenix this evening. In literal terms, the storm was rain that deluged south Phoenix, a heavily immigrant section of town. Figuratively, the storm is the impending implementation of Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigration bill, SB 1070. The bill is scheduled to go into effect at 12:01AM on July 29, but it is the subject of at least three federal lawsuits (being heard by Judge Susan Bolton) who could issue an injunction or stay to delay the bill’s implementation. Whatever she does, she will surely be appealed though so is the beginning of the bill’s legal odyssey, not the end. 

Two of the suits challenging the bill were heard in the Sandra Day O’Connor Courthouse in Phoenix earlier today. Hundreds of the bill’s opponents picketed and protested in front of the courthouse. About 50 supporters of the bill were also there to express their sentiments. But don’t let the lopsided numbers fool you, with an approval rating of well over 60%, the bill is very popular in Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer has ridden the bill’s signing and a wave of anti-immigrant hysteria to almost certain re-election. 

Assuming Judge Bolton doesn’t stay the bill’s implementation, the real storms in Phoenix will come next week when thousands of human rights activists and supporters of immigrants’ rights descend on the city to protest SB 1070. 

There are more photos related to 1070 in my archive. Some of the photos are available from ZUMA Press.