How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'Yesterday, my brother was going to leave'


Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Speakers during the morning prayer service

Several people identifying themselves as undocumented speak at a morning prayer service, among them a woman who has had several family members leave the state in fear of SB 1070.

"Yesterday, my brother was going to leave," Patricia Rosas said. "But because the law was stopped, he won't."


A morning prayer service in Phoenix


Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Inside Trinity Episcopal Cathedral

A prayer service at a downtown cathedral begins a series of planned rallies and demonstrations in Phoenix today, the first day of the implementation of a pared-down SB 1070. Yesterday, a federal judge blocked some of the state anti-illegal immigration law's more controversial components. An appeal by the state is planned.


Despite injunction, much of SB 1070 remains intact

While certain sections of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law have been blocked by a preliminary injunction in federal court, the battle over the controversial Arizona measure is far from over. Nor is the measure itself, as portions of it will still take effect today as scheduled.

So what takes effect and what doesn't? Wednesday morning's ruling in Phoenix by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocked the sections of the law that conflicted most with federal law. Among these were provisions that drew the most concern from opponents who feared racial profiling, such as one that would require local officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of individuals they stop or detain if there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is illegally in the country. The judge ruled on the basis of federal law pre-empting the state law.


American snapshot: Phoenix

flag woman

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

Maria Villalpando, a U.S. citizen raised in Mexico, outside the Arizona state capitol Wednesday night.

Hundreds of SB 1070 opponents were still gathered on a lawn outside the capitol building Wednesday night, attending a late-night Catholic Mass.

Maria Villalpando of Phoenix, 59, had an interesting story to tell about why she was there. She was born in the United States, she said, but her family returned to Mexico shortly after her birth because her father was deported. She grew up in Mexico, not returning until her teens when her family moved to Los Angeles, where she attended high school as a U.S.-born English learner.

"I was lucky that I was born in the United States," she said. "But I know how it feels to be an immigrant."

Some of those at the evening service planned to camp out by the capitol overnight; others said they would return early in the morning for a procession to an interfaith service at a downtown cathedral.


At SB 1070 rally, a business opportunity


Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

A paleta vendor outside the state Capitol

A vendor wheels a cart laden with paletas, Mexican-style frozen fruit pops, to sell to anti-SB 1070 demonstrators outside the capitol building on a sweltering Phoenix afternoon. "I'm here because of the law," he said. "But I'm also working, because I need to survive."