Aug 11, 2014 8:44 PM by Lauren Reimer

Controversial immigration law sparks another round of protests

TUCSON - A controversial law is sparking protests again, after Tucson police hands over two men to Border Patrol only a week apart.

The SB 1070 law requires local police to check the immigration status of people they encounter while enforcing other laws.

Since June 12 of this year, TPD has made over 3,000 calls to Border Patrol. Only 24 of those resulted in BP taking the person into custody.

One of those instances happened only yesterday, when a man was pulled over for a traffic violation. He admitted to being in the U.S. illegally. Border Patrol responded to the call, sparking a protest from the pro-immigration group 'Protection Network Coalition.'

Two women even went as far as to crawl under an unmarked Border Patrol vehicle. Sandra Garnica was one of those women.

"I've seen what happens to families, families being torn apart," she said.

That outcry against SB 1070 continued Monday on the front steps of the TPD headquarters.

"The local community does not trust local law enforcement, if we are victims of crime, do we not want to call local police because it could lead to a detention and deportation," said Raul Alcaraz Ochoa, with the Protection Network Coalition.

This was Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor's hesitation too, when SB 1070 was being drafted. Despite his concerns, he and all law enforcement agencies in Arizona are now federally required to follow it.

"I think local cops have far more important things to do, and they're just mandated to do this now by SB 1070," said Chief Villasenor.

But those who support it say, the law is the law.

"If you and I were to be pulled over for an illegal turn, and we said 'Sorry, I don't have a drivers license, I don't have car registration, I don't have insurance,' where would we end up? Where would our car end up? They would enforce the law, which we would expect them to do," said Pat Sexton, with the Arizona Latino Republican Association.


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