Immigration protests grow heated; four arrested


by Jaime Cerretta

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 26 at 12:27 PM

PHOENIX -- Members of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition staged a demonstration in downtown Phoenix Wednesday evening to send a message about immigrants' rights. And it didn't take long for things to become heated.

More than 80 protesters gathered at ICE headquarters near Central and Thomas. Some of the demonstrators actually chained themselves to a fence.

"I'm willing to risk everything because I feel that my community needs this," says one woman who locked herself to the fence. "My family needs this. And enough is enough. Congress needs to act. A representative needs to act."

The so-called Dreamers organized the event to push for new immigration policies. Many say the actions of ICE are breaking up families. The Dreamers are also calling on community leaders and lawmakers to pass immigration reform.

"They have been somewhat unresponsive," said one protester. "Ed Pastor thinks a yes vote is enough, but that's not enough for our community."

Dozens of officers responded to the rally, and four people were arrested. Police had to use bolt cutters to release the demonstrators from the fence before taking them into custody.

3TV talked to one young lady who watched her mother being led off in handcuffs. "It felt really heartbreaking," said Jaqueline Sanchez. "But at the same time, it was really empowering. I felt really proud of my mom and it was really sad to see this is what we had to do to get the attention of congressmen."

Some who gathered at the rally referred to the recent raid at Danny's Family Carwash as an example of how scary it can be for some to just go to work. "It was an act of terrorism," she said. "Just imagine federal agents going to your place of work with ski masks. They go while you're washing a car. Is that the America we want to live in?"

The demonstrators also held to hold a candlelight prayer vigil later in the evening. But immediately following the vigil, some folks went running to stop a bus that was full of immigrants headed to Eloy for deportation.

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