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Arizona immigration law draws flak from religious leaders


Legislation comes into force from 29 July

4th June 2010: After celebrities, religious leaders in the US and Latin America have condemned Arizona’s contentious new immigration law.

Already celebrities, including Seth MacFarlane, Eva Longoria, John Cusack, George Lopez, Soulja Boy, Shakira, Ricky Martin and Linda Ronstadt, have aired strong views against the law that allows the authorities to stop anyone they think may be an illegal immigrant.

The legislation comes into effect from 29 July 2010 and makes it a crime to be in Arizona without immigration papers.

President Barack Obama also believes law is misguided; and recently met Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in this regard.

Describing it as “inhuman”, Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz of Tijuana, Mexico, said it would "make it possible to detain someone based on their external appearance".

The head of the US bishops’ committee on migration, Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, too has issue a warning that the action could eventually lead to racial profiling. He believes it could even create divisions between the police and immigrant communities.

Describing it as a recipe for racism and anti-immigration legislation, only recently tens of thousands of demonstrators took out a protest march through at least 70 cities in America.

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane too has slammed the immigration law.

Comparing Arizona’s new immigration law to Nazi legislation, he said nobody, but the Nazism ever asked anybody for their papers.

The bill, signed April 23, requires legal immigrants to carry their registration documents all the times, as it allows police officers to question anyone they suspect to be an illegal immigrant.

Colombian singer Shakira too only recently met Phoenix mayor to campaign against the "unjust and inhuman" law, while Latin singer Ricky Martin on Thursday urged the audience at the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Puerto Rico to "put a stop to discrimination. Put a stop to hate. Put a stop to racism…Long live love, long live peace."

The Desperate Housewives star, Eva Longoria (35), claimed the Arizona bill even attacked ethnic studies. She also called for an end to hate.

The resentment against the bill can be gauged from the fact in Los Angeles, an estimated 100,000 people took part in the demonstration. Massive rallies were also being held in Chicago, Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, New York and smaller cities.

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