SANTA BARBARA, CA: Local students, professors, and community members in Santa Barbara are demanding immediate repeal of the racist Arizona law SB1070 and of all repressive anti-immigrant legislation.
Protesters will gather in downtown Santa Barbara Thursday, May 27, at noon. A number of the protesters will risk arrest in an act of peaceful civil disobedience in order to press their demands.
The protesters will call for the City Council of Santa Barbara to cut all business ties with companies based out of Arizona, to declare Santa Barbara a sanctuary for immigrants, and to push for California state legislation that allows immigrants, regardless of the legal status, to obtain drivers licenses.
In addition to repeal of SB1070 and local action by the City Council, the protesters will demand:
• an end to raids, detentions, and deportations against immigrant communities;
• no to criminalization of immigrants; yes to legalization for all undocumented;
• passage of the DREAM Act
• passage of comprehensive immigrant reform
• repeal of Arizona HB2281 which bans ethnic studies in public schools
The protest will take place at noon at intersection of Anacapa and Anapamu streets.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law on April 23 the harshest anti-immigrant bill in the country, SB1070. The law institutionalizes racial profiling by requiring police to check the immigrant status of anyone they suspect of being undocumented and criminalizes those who do not have proper identification. On May 12, Gov. Brewer signed into law HB2281, which bans the teaching of ethnic studies in public schools.
Members of the Santa Barbara and Goleta communities, including students and faculty of UCSB, want to denounce this racist law, said Nathaly Arriola, one of the spokespersons.
“It is unconstitutional and unconscionable. It will result in widespread discrimination, and harassment of immigrant communities and in the racial profiling of all those who ‘look’ like immigrants,” Arriola said. “We stand in solidarity with those in Arizona resisting this new attack on the immigrant community.”
Cesar Rodriguez, another spokesperson, said the immigrant community is being made scapegoat for the economic crisis.
“Immigrants face an escalation of hate crimes and a rising tide of repressive laws around the country that criminalizes and scapegoat people who are undocumented,” said Rodriguez.
The protesters will call on the Obama administration to keep its electoral promise to issue an immediate moratorium on raids and deportations, to introduce comprehensive progressive immigration reform legislation that legalizes rather than criminalizes the undocumented, to use its federal powers to halt the enforcement of SB1070 and other anti-immigrant laws, and to push for the immediate passage of the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act, first drafted in 2001, would give legal status to undocumented students provided they finish high school and enroll for at least two years in an institution of higher education or in the armed services.
“We will conduct peaceful civil disobedience in the very best tradition of American civic action and democracy,” said Rodriguez.