Protest over Ariz. immigration law reaches Minnesotaby Toni Randolph, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — Dozens of supporters of immigration reform rallied in downtown Minneapolis Monday, voicing their anger about a new Arizona law designed to crack down in immigrants who are in the state illegally.
About 50 people rallied outside the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, where Gov. Pawlenty and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke last night. They chose that site because they say Pawlenty supports policies that hurt immigrant families.
Pawlenty has called for cracking down on illegal immigration in Minnesota. Protestors, including Veronica Mendez of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, also criticized the new immigration law passed by Arizona last week.
"The only way that they can actually use this to enforce immigration laws is by discriminating people and profiling and looking for people who look Latino and asking them for their documents," Mendez said. "It's just promoting absolute racism, profiling and hatred."
Mendez said laws such as the new measure in Arizona underscore the need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Greg Nammacher of SEIU Local 26 spoke in both English and Spanish, telling the crowd that the new law will lead to discrimination and profiling.
"This takes away all of our rights, no matter if we are immigrants or born here in the U.S.," Nammacher said. "And we've got to take a stand today to stop it."
Protesters say they plan to hold weekly rallies to push for comprehensive immigration reform.