By MICHELLE PRICE, Associated Press Writer
PHOENIX (AP) â€” Hundreds of people supporting Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigration rallied near the state Capitol on Saturday afternoon in soaring temperatures.
Hundreds of motorcycle riders kicked off the downtown Phoenix rally by riding in a procession around the Capitol. Supporters waved American flags and some carried signs that read “What part of illegal don’t they understand?”
The rally’s turnout fell far short of the march organized by opponents of the law last weekend, when an estimated 20,000 people gathered.
Demonstrators on Saturday sweated as temperatures reached 105 degrees. Some shaded themselves with umbrellas and clamored to buy cold water and ice cream from vendors.
“For them to come here when it’s over 100 degrees and stand in the heat â€” it’s awesome,” said 32-year-old Stephanie Colbert of Glendale.
Colbert, who works in a restaurant, said those who disagree with the law and boycott Arizona are misguided because they hurt the immigrant community they aim to support.
“The hospitality industry has a very large population of immigrants, legal and illegal,” she said. “It’s those people’s jobs that are in jeopardy.”
Colbert and her mother, 53-year-old Pattie Sheahan of Phoenix, said they strongly support the new law, which requires police conducting traffic stops or questioning people about possible legal violations to ask about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they’re in the country illegally.
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