Los Angeles labor leaders are planning to trek to Arizona in "in busloads" July 29 to be present, sans identification, when the state's controversial immigration takes effect.
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The trip is being organized in part by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor-AFL-CIO, along with religious and community leaders, the Federation announced on its Facebook page. The idea is the challenge authorities to respect the rights of citizens on the buses even as the law encourages police in the desert state to check the immigration status of detainees and arrestees expected of being in the country illegally.
"We will not carry our ID or 'papers,'" states the Federation. "We will challenge Arizona to arrest us for being brown or black, for 'looking suspicious,' for not carrying our 'papers,' and for believing that America is fair, decent, and just."
Of course, Arizona's law forbids racial profiling and doesn't ask police people to stop people simply for appearing to be suspicious in terms of their immigration status. Rather, the so-called checking of the papers would happen after folks are detained or arrested for other reasons.
Still, the anti-immigrant sentiment of some of the law's backers, particularly those who object to the Latinization of the Southwest, has opponents up in arms. The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to ban city travel to Arizona and to boycott business with the state. It joins a long list of cities with similar stances toward the new law.