Local Group Headed To Arizona To Monitor Law

American Friends Service Committee Members Will Go To Arizona

Local community members are calling for action to stop Arizona's new immigration law.

Opponents are calling the law racist and even though a federal judge blocked some of the most controversial sections of it, they said the fight is not over.

Christian Ramirez is leaving for Arizona on Thursday. More than 100 members of the community will be joining him to see how people are responding to Arizona's immigration law.

"It's going to be tense," said Ramirez. "There's going to be a lot of emotion, a lot of fear and anger. It's going to be a long process of healing."

Members of the American Friends Service Committee are heading to Arizona on Thursday and they are sticking to their boycott. They're bringing their own food and staying at people's houses so they don't have to stay in hotels.

"We are not going to spend a single dime in Arizona," said Ramirez.

Opponents said their fight was not over although a judge blocked some parts of the law.

"A lot needs to be done to make sure these misguided laws are not continuing to impact the community," said Ramirez.

The human rights group is bringing video cameras along to monitor what happens after the law goes into effect.

"We're taking video cameras and notes," said Ramirez. "Our main purpose is to bear witness to what happens in Arizona, to make sure that we get the sense from communities to see how real people are affected by real policy changes."

The group plans to meet with community leaders in Phoenix and Tucson.

"Our man function is to talk dialogue with folks, to observe and provide the assistance to communities," said Ramirez.

As Arizona gets ready to usher in a new immigration law, some San Diegans are getting ready to rally against it.

"It will be coming down on people of color," said the Rev. Arvid Straube. "You can’t tell me that it isn't racist."

At the First Unitarian Church in Hillcrest Wednesday morning, half a dozen activists loaded up their sleeping bags and suitcases into a minivan and unrolled their homemade signs of support, which they will be holding up Thursday in Arizona.

"I am going because this affects me in the deepest part of my heart," said Mar Cardenas. "I am an immigrant and have shown my gratitude for everything this country has done for me."

They're headed on a six-hour road trip to Phoenix to protest SB 1070.

"The bottom line is that the people of Arizona are frustrated," said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. "We should have to do it. The federal government should."

"My parents were immigrants to this country, but nobody in Arizona is going to ask me to prove my citizenship because of the way I look, so this law is racist," said Straube.

Cardenas, who said she is no stranger to the hate, said she is prepared to block entrance into government buildings and be arrested.

"We have a different kind of weapon," said Cardenas.

She said she will document every questionable move by police on her video camera and encourages other to do the same, even if it happens once she drives across the Arizona border.

"In the event I get stopped she will be recording the entire exchange," said Cardenas.