Chanting “We are students, not criminals,” nearly 600 students and their supporters marched on Jan. 8 toward the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to protest a recently passed state law denying in-state tuition to out-of-status immigrants. Arizona voters approved the Proposition 300 ballot initiative last November; it requires students who cannot prove their legal immigration status to pay out-of-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
The march took place on the day the stadium hosted the national championship game of college football’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The students delivered a letter to BCS officials asking for support of the proposed federal DREAM Act, which would help students who have graduated from US high schools attain legal immigration status. “I’m here because this does not just affect the undocumented, it affects the entire community,” said Miguel Z., a junior at Arizona State University who works two jobs to stay in school; he is in the US legally but is not a US citizen, even though he spent four years in the Navy.
Because the marchers hadn’t obtained a permit, police told them they had to stay on the sidewalk and march two abreast. About a mile from the stadium, Glendale police told the marchers that if they went any farther, they would be arrested. Eight people locked arms and stepped into the street; they were issued criminal citations for engaging in a special event without a permit and are scheduled to appear in court Jan. 23. “We will fight this in court,” said activist Alfredo Gutierrez, one of the eight. “We will fight these citations because we feel they’re unconstitutional.” (Arizona Republic, Jan. 9)
From Immigration News Briefs, Jan. 12