Black Radio Network
Lawyers for a broad coalition of civil rights groups are preparing today to launch a massive federal court challenge to Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law, expected to take effect in about 90 days.
Sources tell Black Radio Network that among those challenging Arizona will be the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Action Network, the Hispanic Federation and the Puerto Rican Bar Association.
Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, vows he will take a page from the Montgomery bus boycott of the 60's and bring Freedom Walkers to Arizona to risk arrest and go to jail to protest the new measure.
"We will go to Arizona when this bill goes into effect and walk the streets with people who refuse to give identification and force arrest. There is no place in America for this illegal racial profiling," said Sharpton. He urged a boycott of Arizona, calling upon civil rights and religious groups to avoid holding conventions in the state.
Lillian Rodriquez Lopez, who heads the Hispanic Federation, said "this reminds me of Nazi Germany when people were stopped in the streets and ordered to show their papers." She added this is "unconstitutional and a violation of our civil rights."
An official of the Puerto Rican Bar Association accused Arizona of profiling an entire community and vowed to challenge the measure in court.
The legislation makes it a crime to be in the country illegally, requires local police in Arizona to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants, permits lawsuits against agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration law and makes it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.
Many civil rights activists say they will take to the streets nationally on May 1st to protest the Arizona measure.
President Obama has ordered the US Justice Department to see if the Arizona law violates Federal law and called it "misguided."