PHOENIX — A day after the most contentious provision of Arizona's immigration law took effect, rallies were held around Phoenix to protest the mandate that civil rights activists say will lead to systematic racial profiling.

More than three dozen activists stood outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building along a busy thoroughfare Wednesday evening. They chanted: "No papers, no fear."

Carlos Garcia, an organizer with the immigrant rights group the Puente Movement, said the strategy is to urge people not to cooperate with immigration enforcement efforts – whether they're in the country legally or not.

Tempe resident Beatrice Jernigan said friends who are in the country illegally are scared.

"They don't know what's going to happen. They're more cautious," she said. "Some parents who are illegal immigrants are not allowing their kids to participate in afterschool sports."

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that police could immediately start enforcing the so-called "show me your papers" provision of Arizona's immigration law. It requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision in June on the grounds that it doesn't conflict with federal law. Opponents argued that the provision would lead to systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detention of Latinos, and they unsuccessfully asked Bolton to block it.

Bolton said the law's opponents were merely speculating on the racial profiling claims. She did leave the door open to challenges if the claims can be proven.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a request to halt the provision.

In the meantime, an education campaign for illegal immigrants to remain largely silent when they're pulled over by police is being put into practice across the state.

Leticia Ramirez has been telling people who live in the U.S. without legal permission, like she does, that they should offer only their name and date of birth if they're pulled over. She also tells them not to carry any documents that show where they were born.

"We want to teach the community how to defend themselves, how to answer to police, how to be prepared, and to have confidence that they're going to have help," said Ramirez, a 27-year-old from Torreon in the Mexican state of Coahuila.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that verifies people's immigration status for local officers, said Wednesday it has not yet seen an influx in the number of calls it receives from local authorities for immigration checks and assistance.

A hotline run by civil rights advocates has been fielding queries from people wanting to know their rights if questioned about their immigration status.

The advocates are asking police departments not to enforce the provision, as a way to gain cooperation from immigrants in reporting crimes. But not enforcing the requirement could expose the agencies to lawsuits from people claiming authorities aren't complying with the law.

Outside the Immigration and Customs building in Phoenix, Prescott college student Brooke Bischoff said she doubts provisions prohibiting racial profiling will succeed.

She said testimony during a recent trial involving racial profiling accusations against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office indicated that training to avoid discriminatory practices was "cursory."

Advocates also planned to gather Wednesday to address the Phoenix City Council about their concerns about the law, and a march to the Maricopa County jail in downtown Phoenix was scheduled for Saturday.

State lawmakers passed the sweeping immigration measure in 2010 amid voter frustration with Arizona's role as the country's busiest illegal entry point. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah have since adopted variations of Arizona's law.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer says the law won't cure the state's immigration woes but it could push the federal government to act on immigration reform.

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Fonseca reported from Flagstaff, Ariz.

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  • The Template: California Proposition 187 (1994)

    California's Proposition 187 was submitted to the voters with the full support of then Republican governor Pete Wilson. It essentially blamed undocumented immigrants for the poor performance of the state economy in the early 1990s. The law called for cutting off benefits to undocumented immigrants: prohibiting their access to health care, public education, and other social services in California. It also required state authorities to report anyone who they suspected was undocumented. <strong>Status:</strong> The law passed with the support of 55 percent of the voters in 1994 but declared unconstitutional 1997. The law was killed in 1999 when a new governor, Democrat Gray Davis, refused to appeal a judicial decision that struck down most of the law. Even though short-lived, the legislation paved the way for harsher immigration laws to come. On the other hand, the strong reaction from the Hispanic community and immigration advocates propelled a drive for naturalization of legal residents and created as many as one million new voters.

  • The Worst: Arizona SB 1070

    The Arizona Act made it a misdemeanor for an undocumented immigrant to be within the state lines of Arizona without legal documents allowing their presence in the U.S. This law has been widely criticized as xenophobic and for encouraging racial profiling. It requires state authorities to inquire about an individual's immigration status during an arrest when there is "reasonable suspicion" that the individual is undocumented. The law would allow police to detain anyone who they believe was in the country illegally. <strong>Status:</strong> The law was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, 2010. But it has generated a swirl of controversy and questions about its constitutionality. A federal judge issued a ruling that blocked what critics saw as some of the law's harshest provisions. House: 35-31 (4/12/2011)

  • Following Arizona's Footsteps: Georgia HB 87

    The controversy over Arizona's immigration law was followed by heated debate over Georgia's own law. HB 87 required government agencies and private companies to check the immigration status of applicants. This law also limited some government benefits to people who could prove their legal status. <strong>Status:</strong> Although a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law considered too extreme, it went into effect on July 1st. 2011. House: 113-56 Senate: 39-17

  • Verifying Authorized Workers: Pennsylvania HB 1502

    This bill, which was approved in 2010, bans contractors and subcontractors employ undocumented workers from having state construction contracts. The bill also protects employees who report construction sites that hire illegal workers. To ensure that contractors hire legal workers, the law requires employers to use the identification verification system E-verify, based on a compilation of legally issued Social Security numbers. <strong>Status:</strong> Approved on June 8th 2010. House: 188-6 (07/08/2010) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by DonkeyHotey</a>

  • A Spin Off of Arizona: Utah HB 497

    Many states tried to emulate Arizona's SB 1070 law. However, most state legislatures voted against the proposals. Utah's legislature managed to approve an immigration law based on a different argument. Taking into consideration the criticism of racial profiling in Arizona, Utah required ID cards for "guest workers" and their families. In order to get such a card workers must pay a fee and have clean records. The fees go up to $2,500 for immigrants who entered the country illegally and $1,000 for immigrants who entered the country legally but were not complying with federal immigration law, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/06/nation/la-na-illegal-immigration-20110306" target="_hplink">according to the LA Times.</a> <strong>Status: </strong> Law went into effect on 03/15/2011 House: 59-15 (03/04/2011) Senate: 22-5 (03/04/2011)

  • The Most Comprehensive: Florida HB-1C

    Florida's immigration law prohibits any restrictions on the enforcement of federal immigration law. It makes it unlawful for undocumented immigrants within the state to apply for work or work as an independent contractor. It forbids employers from hiring immigrants if they are aware of their illegal status and requires work applicants to go through the E-verify system in order to check their Social Security number. <strong>Status: </strong>effective since October 1st, 2010

  • The Hot Seat: Alabama HB 56

    The new immigration law in Alabama is considered the toughest in the land, even harder than Arizona's SB 1070. It prohibits law enforcement officers from releasing an arrested person before his or her immigration status is determined. It does not allow undocumented immigrants to receive any state benefit, and prohibits them from enrolling in public colleges, applying for work or soliciting work in a public space. The law also prohibits landlords from renting property to undocumented immigrants, and employers from hiring them. It requires residents to prove they are citizens before they become eligible to vote. The law asked every school in the state to submit an annual report with the number of presumed undocumented students, but this part, along with others, were suspended by federal courts. <strong>Status:</strong> Approved June 2nd, 2011 House: 73-28 (04/05/2011) Senate: 23-11 (05/05/2011) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/longislandwins/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by longislandwins</a>