Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio took the stand for six hours this week in a civil rights trial accusing him of using racial profiling to target undocumented immigrants in Arizona. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund filed the lawsuit on behalf of residents targeted at traffic stops for detention, despite having a valid visa and identification. As Arpaio testified, four undocumented immigrants were arrested outside the courthouse for blocking an intersection and had immigration detainers placed on them in jail. At least one now faces deportation. We speak with Carlos Garcia, organizer with the “Arrest Arpaio Not the People” campaign and Puente Arizona. Later this month he will participate in the “No Papers No Fear” bus tour with undocumented immigrant activists. Its final stop will be the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina.
By Natally Cruz
I’ve been here half of my life. I could say most of my life I’ve been here in Arizona. My parents brought me here for a better life. I have a son who I think deserves the same that my parents wanted for me.
My name is Natally Cruz. I am 24 years old. I’ve been in the United States for sixteen years. I have a seven year old son and I live with my aunt and uncle.
Once I graduated from high school, I was unable to go to school. I was unable to work because I didn’t have a social security number.
I got involved with Puente two years ago when SB1070 started. What made me really want to get involved was the part that we could be discriminated against just by the color of our skin.
To me, it was really important to learn about the health issues because most of our community members do not have insurance to be able to help themselves if they get sick or something. The basic that we learned was like the high blood pressure, how to take it ourselves.
“Insecure Communities: Families Under Threat” is a poignant 12 minute film documenting the dangerous effects of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) programs that place local police at the center of immigration enforcement. The film follows Djibril, Maria, and Jose, whose lives have been impacted by programs such as Secure Communities (S-Comm) and who now fear being separated from their children and families. “Insecure Communities” is a stark reminder that every day communities are broken up because of unjust and immoral immigration enforcement programs with many more living in fear that they may be next.
Download a copy of the Toolkit for Screening “Insecure Communities.” (PDF)