LatinaLista — The month is winding down and the greater Latino community in Arizona and across the country have been on pins and needles waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the state's infamous SB1070 law. When the Supreme Court justices heard arguments in April over sections of the law blocked by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it was said that they would make a ruling on a Monday in June.
It won't be today. That leaves only two weeks for the court to release their decision on such elements of the law as:
- The section requiring non-citizens to carry "alien registration papers" at all times;
- The provision allowing the state of Arizona the authority to prosecute for the crime of illegal immigration, currently a federal crime;
- The section requiring police officers in Arizona to ask suspected criminals or traffic violators about their immigration status, when they have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is here illegally;
- The provision making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to seek work or apply for jobs.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules, their decision will leave people confused as to what can and cannot be done. In an unprecedented effort to present Spanish-speaking immigrants in Arizona a dependable and unified source of information to explain the court's ruling, 23 Latino media outlets will cease to air their regularly scheduled programs and in effect become one media outlet.
On Wednesday, June 20, from 5-5:30 p.m., Spanish-language media will join forces under the banner Hoy Somos Arizona (Today We are Arizona) to attempt to address people's fears and uncertainty about their future in the state. The 30-minute broadcast will air on TV and radio stations in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma, and looped over the Internet for nationwide viewing.
The show will feature several news stories put together by participating media outlets focused on the following topics: A look at how we got here starting with Proposition 187 in California to the current U.S. Supreme Court decision on SB 1070; What's on the table?: A review of the four key provisions of the law and what they mean; Know your rights: An interview with a civil rights lawyer; and The impact of SB 1070 on families: An interview with a family separated by SB 1070.
Taped outside the Arizona State Legislature – where SB 1070 was first introduced in 2010, this never-before-seen public awareness initiative also includes a phone bank staffed by bilingual volunteers and civil rights attorneys to answer callers' questions and information on voter registration and key election dates. It is hoped the initiative will also help motivate eligible Latinos to register to vote so the process for political change can begin sooner rather than later.
"Latino media in Arizona have been on the front lines of this struggle covering this controversial law since it was first introduced in the Arizona State Legislature," said Ben Monterroso, national executive director of Mi Familia Vota Educations Fund. "For years Latino media outlets have captured with their cameras the effects that anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policies and legislation can have on the Latino community. With this program they have taken the steps necessary to unite the community and empower individuals with the information they need to defend their rights and take control of their own destinies."
The following is a promo for the program.