By GRISELDA NEVAREZ
Cronkite News Service
PHOENIX -- Dozens of people rallying Wednesday at the State Capitol urged Gov. Jan Brewer to veto a bill that would require local law enforcement to assist in enforcing federal immigration law.
The demonstration followed Tuesday's House passage of SB 1070, sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, sending the bill back to the Senate to resolve differences between the chambers' versions. The next stop after that, should the Senate agree with the House changes, would be Brewer's desk.
Dozens protested Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at the State Capitol against legislation that among other things would make being in the U.S. illegally a trespassing offense in Arizona. Demonstrators urged Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the bill should it reach her desk. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Griselda Nevarez)
Among other things, the bill would make it a trespassing offense for someone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally to fail to produce an "alien registration document" such as a green card or to willfully fail to register for one.
Jaime Farrant, policy director for the Border Action Network, a group supporting immigrants' rights, said the bill would establish Arizona as the nation's leader in creating anti-immigration laws and as the leader in anti-Hispanic sentiment.
"In the past three or four years we have seen an increasing attempt at the state Legislature to pass anti-immigrant bills like this one," Farrant said.
He said his group had organized opponents to send more than 20,000 postcards and 15,000 e-mails to Brewer's office.