ByÂ Tim Gaynor
(Reuters) – A few hundred protesters, some toting placards reading “no to racial profiling,” marched through downtown Phoenix on Wednesday to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to block Arizona’s two-year-old crackdown on illegal immigrants.
“My message to the Supreme Court is ‘don’t single out the Hispanic race,'” said Melanie Renteria, 38, who was among 200-300 mostly Hispanic protesters rallying in a park ahead of the march.
“I hope they overturn SB 1070. I think it’s wrong for local police to try to do what the government is supposed to do, which is immigration,” she added
Protesters, some chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” set off on a three-mile route passing by city hall, a hardline local sheriff’s office and the headquarters of the federal immigration police in the city.
Signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010, the state law sought to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and includes a measure requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone detained and suspected of being in the country illegally.
Parts were blocked by a federal judge before it came into effect, and the Supreme Court justices began hearing arguments in the state’s appeal on Wednesday.
Among protesters gathering for the march was Vee Newton, 42, a Navajo tribal member who carried a placard reading “SB 1070 Targets Brown People.”
“One thing that is confusing to me is how does one distinguish who an immigrant is and who is not?” he said.
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