Arizona's strict new illegal immigration law, SB 1070, is set to begin enforcement this Thursday, leaving many Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal, less than a week to decide their course of action.
Hispanic immigrants with U.S. citizenship must choose whether to leave the state, or stay in Arizona and risk suffering what many have seen as a likelihood for racial discrimination that will take place when law enforcement officials begin the mandated practice of investigating the immigration statuses of suspected undocumented individuals during lawful stops.
The choice is a much more consequential one for illegal immigrants in Arizona. If they decide to remain in the state after Thursday, they will be living under the nation's harshest measures against illegal immigration.
According to Reuters' report:
In a sign of a gathering exodus, Mexican businesses from grocers and butcher shops to diners and beauty salons have shut their doors in recent weeks as their owners and clients leave.
On Saturday and Sunday, Reuters counted dozens of impromptu yard sales in Latino neighbourhoods in central and west Phoenix.
While the legal battle rages on, with several lawsuits currently mounted, including one from the United States Justice Department, activists plan more protests to oppose the impending enforcement of the law.
According to CNN:
The protesters include immigrant students, religious leaders, day laborers and members of several unions including the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the Teamsters and the Utility Workers of America Union.
But not all Arizonans of Hispanic ancestry will be joining in opposition of Arizona's controversial immigration law.
Last week, the Arizona Latino Republican Association came out against the Justice Department's lawsuit against SB 1070, becoming the first Hispanic group to provide legal support for the new immigration policy.
Jesse Hernandez, a member of the Arizona Republican Latino Association, explained the law's opponents as misinformed fear-mongers.
"They throw out this verbiage, racist, discrimination, Nazis -- they're just trying to drum up fear among the public," Hernandez told CNN. "We live in a society that doesn't read anymore, that is spoon-fed by TV. That's why I'm challenging them to pick up the law and read it and not believe the rhetoric that is coming out from the left."