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Hundreds of thousands took to the streets across the US on May Day as Arizona immigration law erupted in mass rallies.

Protesters in more than 70 cities (including Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, Boston and New York) across the land of opportunity marched for the rights of migrants that are being bludgeoned, reminiscent of the unsuccessful attempt for federal legislation four years previously which would have made being a non-status immigrant a felony. Demonstrations had already been held in response to Arizona’s recent ruling but Saturday’s marches were by far the largest held to date, including 50,000 in LA and 6,500 in New York.

Arizona’s severe new immigration legislation, which is due to take effect from July 29th, will make it possible for law enforcement teams to interrogate people about their citizen status if they suspect they don’t carry proper documentation, creating fears of inciting further racism and discrimination. There are an estimated 12 million people living illegally in the U.S.

Protesters included a coalition (groan) of activists, families, students and immigrant organisations as well as prominent political, religious and media figures. Congressman, Luis Gutierrez the representative for the state of Illinois, was arrested along with 35 other people during a sit-in outside the White House which defied orders from the police. Protesters are usually required to stay in motion when demonstrating in front of the White House. It was a reminder to Obama to fulfill his campaign promises to achieve immigration reform. Let’s hope the waves of civil disobedience continue.

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