LA activists plan to travel to Arizona to protest immigration law

Hundreds of local activists plan to ride into Arizona by bus at the end of July when that state’s new immigration law goes into effect. Those who travel will leave behind their ID cards and papers as a challenge for Arizona police to arrest them, labor leaders said today.

They’ll load up five chartered buses and ride for about six hours to Arizona. Hundreds of protesters with no identification cards or papers — just a point.

“We represent what we believe is the broader community and that is citizens or not, this law is racial profiling,” Maria Elena Durazo, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said. “We primarily represent those who would be found ‘suspicious’ under that new law.”

The new law that goes into effect on July 29 is the toughest anti-illegal immigration measure in the country. Supporters say it doesn’t allow police to rely solely on race or ethnicity to question people about their immigration status. Durazo says that if the law were that clear, no one would try to challenge it in court.

“We’re not looking to challenge just any law, anytime, anywhere. We’re looking to challenge a law that we find to be offensive, racist, unconstitutional and so we’re going to go ahead and challenge it on the ground in the way that movements before us did.”

Organizers of the trip to Arizona say they’ll notify authorities ahead of time that they’re coming. What these activists will do after they arrive isn’t clear yet. Immigration leaders plan to leave L.A. at dawn on July 29 and will return from Arizona in about a day.

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