Carrying signs saying "Stop Deporting Families!" and "No Human Being is Illegal," dozens rallied yesterday afternoon in downtown Manhattan against Arizona’s new law making it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
"It’s unthinkable to have a law like that," said Soledad Villacis**, 34, at the rally in front of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices.
"When they are looking for our votes we don’t look undocumented to them," said Villacis, who came to Ridgewood, Queens, from Ecuador without documentation but later became a legal resident. "Just because you eat guacamole and listen to Latin music doesn’t mean you are undocumented."
"This is not just about politics. This is about the soul of our country," said the Rev. Michael Ellick, assistant pastor of Judson Memorial Church in the West Village.
Meanwhile in Washington yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano — a former governor of the Grand Canyon State — also balked at the bill: The Arizona law "will detract from and siphon resources that we need to focus on those in the country illegally who are committing serious crimes, in addition to violating our nation’s immigration laws," Napolitano told Senate Judiciary Committee members.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is considering launching a court challenge to the Arizona statute, which was signed into law Friday.
New York advocacy groups said they have sent a letter to President Obama demanding he strike down the Arizona law, and filed a lawsuit to get records that show police cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
**Member of Make the Road New York