Demanding an end to family separation.
Immigrant activists gathered at Indian Steele Park to march for an end to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's workplace raids and the deportations they lead to.
The march starts at the park, winds down central to Phoenix's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office, then ends at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office at Third Avenue and Jefferson.
Marchers are demanding an end to family separation. They also want County Attorney Bill Montgomery to drop the charges against those who get caught up in the workplace raids. They claim Montgomery maximizes charges against those in the country illegally, following ICE's roadmap for securing deportations.
"He is charging undocumented folks with a felony 4, with a felony 4 once they reach immigration they can be deported. We are asking him (Montgomery) why it is a U.S. citizen gets a felony 6 and an undocumented worker get a felony 4 for identity theft," said Natally Cruz of Puente Arizona.
Carlos Garcia said Montgomery is turning working into a crime by choosing high-level charges instead of using his discretion to allow families to stay together.
Garcia also wants the Obama Administration to end deportations. 1,400 people a day are deported from the United States.
Statement from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery:
“I support people exercising their First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances and to speak freely, rights which, among others, more than one million Americans have died defending. Today’s demonstrations highlight the consequences of our federal government’s failure to address a broken immigration system and to properly secure our borders.
“While I continue to support reasonable and necessary federal immigration reforms, I remain equally committed to enforcing the laws I have sworn to uphold as County Attorney. My Office will continue to make charging decisions based on an individual’s conduct -- not his or her race, ethnicity or residency status. We do not initiate prosecutions to achieve a particular immigration outcome, nor do we control the federal consequences of state-level convictions. I reject any call to treat one particular group more or less harshly than any other, or to mix politics with criminal justice.”
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