Immigration Rallies on Tap - NBC Bay Area

Immigration Rallies on Tap



    Immigration Rallies on Tap
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    CHICAGO - APRIL 29: Jose Munoz holds a poster of the Arizona Flag with a Ku Klux Klansman in the center during a protest outside Wrigley Field before the start of the Cubs game against the Arizona Diamondbacks April 29, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Dozens of people demonstrated outside the park calling for a boycott of the series to protest the passage of Arizona's controversial new immigration law. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

     Hundreds of people marched in Oakland Friday to encourage city  officials to make Oakland a sanctuary city and to protest Arizona's new law  that requires local law enforcement to check the legal status of those they  suspect may be illegal immigrants.

     The marchers wove through Oakland starting at 9 a.m. and reached  City Hall a little after noon, event organizer Lizbeth Gomez said.

    At the front of the march was a banner that read: "No human is  illegal." There also was a group of Aztec dancers leading the group. Marchers  chanted "Si, se puede," or "Yes, we can."

    The march was organized about two months ago by Youth United for  Justice, a group comprised of Oakland students. The group has marched for the  past two years to encourage city leaders to make Oakland a sanctuary city  free of deportations and immigration raids.

    Gomez, a 21-year-old community college student, said about 250  students, parents and community members participated in today's march.

    After Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law last week,  the group decided to also show their support of a citywide boycott of the  border state.

     The law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, and  it requires police officers to question, "when practicable," those they  "reasonably suspect" are illegal immigrants.

    Under the new law, even lawful foreign residents would be  committing a crime if they fail to carry immigration documents. It would also  be illegal to stop on a public street to negotiate the hire of day laborers.

     Four Oakland City Council members blasted the law Thursday,  calling it unjust and saying it would result in racial profiling Hispanics  and other immigrants.

    City Council President Jane Brunner said Thursday a resolution  will soon be introduced to have the city of Oakland boycott Arizona. Members  of Youth United for Justice met with the City Council that day to discuss the  boycott and other issues, Gomez said.

    Gomez, who is transferring to San Francisco State University in  the fall, said she could how be thrown in jail if she goes to Arizona. Her  mother brought her here illegally when she was 6 months old.

     "It's very negative," she said of the immigration bill. "We just  want a better community and to keep families together."