The law has strong public support in Arizona, where passions have been
running high since a rancher was killed close to the Mexican border last
month, apparently by drug smugglers from across the border.
The furor over Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants
grew Monday as opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol, civil rights leaders
demanded a boycott of the state, and the Obama administration weighed a
possible legal challenge.
Activists are planning a challenge of their own,
hoping to block the law from taking effect by arguing that it encroaches
on the federal government's authority to regulate immigration and
violates people's constitutional rights by giving police too much power.
The measure — set to take effect in late July or
early August — would make it a crime under state law to be in the U.S.
illegally. It directs state and local police to question people about
their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.
"If you look or sound foreign, you are going to be subjected to
never-ending requests for police to confirm your identity and to confirm
your citizenship," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of
the American Civil
Liberties Union of Arizona,
which is exploring legal action. (The ACLU has yet to "explore legal action" regarding Affirmative Action. -- Ed)
Employees at the Capitol came to work Monday to find
that vandals had smeared swastikas on the windows. And protesters
gathered for an eighth straight day to speak out against a law they say
will lead to rampant racial
profiling of anyone who looks Hispanic.