With Arizona's controversial immigration-enforcement law taking effect yesterday, hundreds participated in a New York City march and rally. According to City Room, the rally started with "about 30 people. But the crowd grew quickly as local groups like Vamos Unidos from the Bronx, and DRUM, a Southeast Asian group based in Jackson Heights, Queens, gathered their ranks and found additional support among grandmothers dressed in skirts and sneakers, church groups, women in hijabs, and a former Arizona border patrol agent."
Rafael Samanez of Vamos Unidos said of a judge's decision to block part of the law (here's a Q&A on the law), "It’s a good start, but it’s not enough. Whatever happens in Arizona eventually makes its way to New York." And associate minister of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village told DNAinfo, "In the Bible, no rule is more often mentioned than welcome the stranger among you. This is a country built on the possibility that immigrants can come here and build a new life. Obviously you and I are not from here. That dream is not over."
But the marchers were met with a couple dozen pro-immigration-enforcement protesters. City Room reports that one Manhattan resident said, "There are illegals infiltrating every state; it’s not just Arizona. Do you think that they all stay in Arizona once they’re in? They’re everywhere," while one from Queens said, "The illegal aliens have devastated the work force, the economy in Arizona and for the United States. They are devastating our education, all the schools are overcrowded. They are devastating our health care and they are taking jobs away from American minorities and unschooled workers." However City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) said that illegal immigrants are "taking jobs that Americans don’t really want."
The City Council rejected a total boycott of Arizona yesterday, but did allow Speaker Christine "Quinn to file a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of the Council supporting the federal lawsuit against the contested law, which calls for cops to check immigrants' legal status."