Hispanics to march Tuesday over
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 1, 2005
25-mile walk from Mesa to Capitol will protest anti-immigrant measures
Hundreds of Hispanics from around the
state plan to walk 25 miles from Mesa to the state Capitol next week to protest
proposed legislation that targets undocumented immigrants.
Students, day laborers and community activists who gathered at north Phoenix's
Macehualli Work Center, near 25th Street and Bell Road, said they expect more
than 300 to participate in Tuesday's Caminata por la Dignidad Humana, or
Human Dignity Walk.
They want to protest House Bill 2592, which would prohibit cities, towns and
counties from building or maintaining a work center that facilitates the hiring
of undocumented immigrants, and House Bill 2030, which would ban undocumented
immigrants from living in public housing, taking adult literacy courses and
enrolling in college, among other services.
Both bills have passed the House and
are under consideration in the Senate.
Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said he supports both measures and thinks the
protests will have little impact on the bills.
"The laws they're protesting only impact illegal (immigrants)," Pearce said.
"They're protesting the enforcement of laws."
The activists who plan to march are also angry about legislation calling for a
vote that could ban Spanish and any language other than English from local and
state government business.
"I have a life here," said Phoenix College student Juliana Huicochea, 19, who
said HB 2030 could prevent her from earning a law degree. She would not discuss
her immigration status.
"I have an education because of this country," Huicochea said. "We want to give
back to the country that has given us so much."
Salvador Reza, who runs the daily operations of the work center, plans to
organize an economic boycott if the proposals become law. He said he will urge
businesses to boycott Arizona and book their events elsewhere. Reza already is
working with California-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network to arrange
"We'll put pressure on the Legislature," Reza said. "It cannot be business as
usual if they keep passing laws that are damaging the infrastructure of
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