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March 22, 2008

Illegal Aliens Protest With Crucifixion March

Posted in: Pro-Illegal Groups

Alejandro Miguel, 32, reenacts the persecution of Jesus Christ and comparing it
to the plight of the immigrant. The group marched to City Hall, Phoenix Police
Headquarters and and State Capitol.

AZ Central

A group of community activists marched through downtown Phoenix, using Good Friday to spread a message of their own.

The demonstration, called the “Via Crucis,” or “Way of the Cross,” was a re-enactment of Jesus’ journey to death on the cross from the perspective of the immigrant, whose plight carries him through the streets of Phoenix and ends at the State Capitol, said Jorge Mendez, who organized the event.

Mendez, an assistant lawyer with a master’s degree in theology, said the group had two central objectives in making the demonstration: to put on the table a moratorium on the immigration raids being made by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and to terminate anti-immigration laws.

Mendez said the group chose to demonstrate on Good Friday to contrast history with the reality of today.

Alejandro Miguel, a 32 -year-old Phoenix resident, played the part of Jesus.

“We represent an exploited and untolerated minority,” Miguel said in Spanish through a translator. “Our eyes have seen death, misery, and hunger, and we’ve seen enough.”

Miguel said the mistreatment of his fellow man inspired him to play such an important role in the demonstration.

To reenact the Via Crucis, Miguel adorned a robe, mask, and crown of thorns while he carried a wooden cross over three miles through the streets of Phoenix.

The procession began noon Friday in a parking lot located across the street from the El Portal Restaurant on 117 W. Grant St.

Miguel carried a cross marked with the numbers 200, 300, and 2779 - the numbers of recently passed Arizona legislation that require individuals to provide proof of citizenship to vote or apply for public benefits, denies in-state tuition to undocumented college students, and imposes penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

The group of about 50 demonstrators moved through the streets of downtown Phoenix, stopping along the way to make brief presentations.

Demonstrators shouted at Miguel and pretended to beat him with whips in front of the Maricopa County administration building, Phoenix City Hall, and the Catholic Pastoral Diocesan Center. The group simulated the crucifixion on the front steps on the Phoenix Police Department, then carried Miguel and the cross to the State Capitol.

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