Illegal Immigrants demonstrate outside Phoenix courthouse
Protestors are shown. (Photo: Jim Cross/KTAR)
PHOENIX -- A group of immigrant rights advocates are demonstrating outside a federal courthouse in Phoenix as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio testifies inside in a civil trial.
Arpaio took the witness stand Tuesday about allegations that his trademark immigration sweeps amounted to racial profiling against Hispanics.
"A day like this has arrived because of the tenacity of the plaintiffs," said Valley attorney Antonio Bustamante.
By Associated Press
Originally published: Jul 24, 2012 - 1:50 pm
Meanwhile, some protesters staged a civil disobedience near the courthouse. Four undocumented immigrants were holding a banner that read: "No Papers, No Fear."
The four said they are not afraid to be arrested. However, their demonstration appears to be orchestrated by a national day laborer organization that sent out a statement from the four undocumented immigrants and even provided their biographies.
Arpaio would not be arrested nor fined if found guilty in the case, but activists feel the trial is the first step.
"If he gets out of this one, it's only like a slap on the hand," said Salvador Reza. "It's a civil case. I think his day will come when he is indicted by the feds on criminal charges."
Bustamante said the case is a potential landmark, as it would be the first time an official was found guilty in a judicial decision at for violating the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
Four people were arrested, but Phoenix Police said the arrests were on charges of blocking a thoroughfare and failure to obey a lawful order.