The Arizona protests that began in earnest during the last week of April show no sign of abating in the first week of May. April saw the passage of SB 1070, a new state law that violates the 4th Amendment by requiring police to search and seize citizens’ and legal residents’ papers without probable cause, and violates the 14th Amendment by explicitly permitting people to be targeted for search on the basis of skin color, so long as another stereotypic quality (such as language or perceived national origin) also characterizes an individual (see SB 1070 bill page 1, lines 20-34). If U.S. citizens and legal residents targeted for the search and seizure of their papers don’t happen to have proof of their American citizenship or legal residency on them, they are subject to detention until they can establish such proof.
People in Arizona — a great many of whom have brown skin, speak Spanish, and are often asked whether they were born in Mexico — are understandably upset at this prospect. And so protests against SB 1070 continue tomorrow, May 5. People will be meeting at 12 Noon at the University of Arizona in Tucson outside the Old Main building to air their grievances against this new law. At 6 pm, the people of Phoenix will gather at the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church at 6 pm for a rally, followed by a march against SB 1070 at 8 pm.