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National Briefing / Arizona

Crowd protests sheriff's immigrant crackdown

March 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Protesting a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants by an Arizona sheriff, hundreds of people marched through Phoenix toting placards reading "We Are Human" and "Stop the Raids."

Crowd estimates ranged from 1,000 to 3,000.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has dispatched deputies into Latino communities in the area, where they stop people and arrest anyone who cannot prove legal U.S. residency. Under a deal allowing them to enforce federal immigration laws, the deputies have arrested more than 1,500 people who they determined were in the United States illegally.

Latino activists and lawmakers call the program a clear case of racial profiling, saying that only people who look Latino are targeted. Arpaio denies the charge.

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