Tucson cop challenges Ariz. immigration law in court

by Demetria Martinez

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Redemptorist Fr. Ricardo Elford sent an article to me from the Arizona Daily Star. A Tucson cop, Martin H. Escobar, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's new legislation cracking down on undocumented workers. The 15-year veteran of the police force claims that the legislation will make it difficult for police to proceed with investigations in places with large Hispanic populations.

"What are we saying to the undocumented who are victims of crimes, what are we saying to the undocumented who are critical witnesses to crimes?" Richard Martinez, Escobar's attorney told the Star. The attorney also expressed dismay at the prospect of racial profiling. "Hey, there's a lot of people lawfully who speak Spanish; there's a lot of people who speak with an accent," Martinez said. "Those tell you that they're Latino or Hispanic or Mexican, but they don't tell you anything about their document status."

Escobar's lawsuit marks a significant moment in the protests against the Arizona legislation, which friends are referring to as the "let me see your papers," policy. The fact that Escobar is Chicano gives him, I believe, added credibility. He knows Latinos: He is one of them. Ironically, he is dark complected. I'm sure he has stories about being discriminated against--as we all do who cannot "pass" for white. This will be an interesting lawsuit to watch.

Read the entire article, Tucson cop first to sue to block AZ immigration law.

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