Las Vegas Protesters Criticize Arizona Immigration Law - 8 News NOW

Las Vegas Protesters Criticize Arizona Immigration Law

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LAS VEGAS - Protesters in Las Vegas are urging a boycott of Arizona. The move is in response to a new Arizona law that makes it illegal to be an undocumented immigrant in that state.

The protest took place at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security office in Las Vegas. Protest organizers said some people were afraid to show up out of fear of being deported. Those who did show up had sharp criticism of Arizona's sweeping anti-illegal immigration law. The law gives police in Arizona the authority to stop suspected illegal immigrants and request they show proof they are in the country legally.

"This is so racist," protester Gloria Flores said. "It's so sad. I was talking to people earlier today, and we were all saying, ‘Well, what do you have to look like? What does an American look like now? Do you have to carry your passport, your birth certificate?'"

Beatriz Aguirre just returned from Arizona, where she was part of a campaign to stop the controversial bill from becoming law. She says a broken immigration system separated her family. "Families who are trying to come here and have a better life should not be treated as criminals," she said. "They have done nothing wrong but try to escape their country to be able to provide for their families… It's cruel. It's unfair, and it's unjust."

Conservative activist Chuck Muth, however, applauds the new law. "The biggest problem we have to worry about is the fact we're not enforcing the immigration laws now," he said. "This whole notion of sanctuary cities where people can go and if you're caught breaking the law, you can't be prosecuted for it, it's just insane."

Muth has a message for critics: Don't blame the law, blame the lawbreakers. "If it weren't for all the illegals coming in, then the folks who are here legally wouldn't have this problem. They wouldn't have to worry about it. So, stop blaming the folks who want the law enforced. Blame people who are breaking the law, who are bringing this on to their people with their own heritage."

The debate is reigniting calls for a federal immigration reform bill. So far, Congressional lawmakers have not introduced that legislation. But, U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for tighter security along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

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