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December 14, 2007

Warnings Of Riots And Violence If Immigration Laws Are Enforced In Phoenix

Posted in: Reconquistas, Pro-Illegal Groups, Law enforcement

AZ Central

Changing Phoenix police’s immigration-enforcement policies will create a climate of fear in Phoenix that could lead to multimillion-dollar lawsuits and even riots, speakers said Thursday at a raucous town hall.

From the audience, supporters of drafting a new policy said police need more freedom to enforce the law and said their voices weren’t being heard Thursday night.

About 600 people packed the auditorium at South Mountain High School to address a four-man panel convened by Mayor Phil Gordon to review Operations Order 1.4.

The policy prevents police in most cases from asking about a person’s immigration status. It has led some to brand Phoenix as a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.

“Don’t let Phoenix become the next Watts, the next LA riots,” Alex Navidad, an immigration lawyer, said in an impassioned plea to the panel. “That’s what’s going to happen. A community that’s fearful, with loads of police, can only lead to tragedy.”

Phoenix police are already overburdened without having to enforce immigration laws, said Lizzette Alameda Zubey, president of the Maricopa County Hispanic Bar Association. She said that eliminating the policy would lead to expensive racial-profiling lawsuits against the city, as well as additional costs for processing and jailing undocumented residents.

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