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April 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Immigrant soldier reacts to Arizona law

(CNN) – Protests are heating up over Arizona's tough new immigration law. The measure requires police to question anyone they believe might be an illegal immigrant. Opponents say Hispanics will be unfairly targeted.

A Democratic congressman from Arizona is urging the president not to acknowledge the law and civil rights leaders say they'll march in the street and invite arrest by refusing to comply. Thousands of people staged a peaceful protest outside the state capitol in Phoenix yesterday and an immigrant soldier about to ship to the war zone was among them. Our Thelma Gutierrez has his story.

Read more: Hundreds protest immigration law

Filed under: Immigration • Military
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Esther in Phoenix

    P.S. sorry if I mispelled a word or two, this issue is one that I am passionate about. But again, it's because it affects my family and I, all because of the color of my skin. If you are not from Arizona I do recommend that you go on YOUTUBE and enter "Sheriff Arpaio". You will see that he has arrested AMERICANS, yes I said it, AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS, has kept them in jail for several days and then calls ICE.

    Truly sad that this law has divided a whole state. Again, not because of the immigration issue, but because it targets all hispanics, including those who were born here and are legally here.

    Thank you.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  2. Esther in Phoenix

    Holly, you say "Unfortunately, it seems that the Mex. illegals are the most visible".

    How, I live here and I've never seen an illegal wear a shirt identifying himself/herself as such.

    You are right that is already federal why make it a state law. We can go ahead and target the illegals (you can tell by the shoes they wear according to a Republican), but why not target the companies that hire them? They are also breaking the law. Here in AZ, that isn't going to happen, why, because these companies are the sames ones giving the republicans in our state donations for their campaigns. This is a fact.

    As our Grand Wizard...I mean our Sheriff Arpaio has made clear, he will stop anyone his deputies suspect as being an illegal. Now, please ask how many of these are of Asian, Canadian, etc....descent. ZERO, NADA.

    I am an AMERICAN born citizen and I WILL NOT CARRY MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE. If Jan Brewer or anyone else feels that I have to show my birthcertificate, then I say, "Show me yours, and then I'll show you mine". If anyone says "I don't see a problem with it", then I say, write your congress rep and ask them to pass a law requesting that EVERYONE must identify their legal status.

    God bless.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  3. sant

    I see many "Americans" do not understand why many "Americans with a skin color that is not white" are upset. Do we have a immigration problem?.....yes...Do we need to secure the borders?...yes...Do we need to stop every person of color because they fit the description of an "illegal"...NO!!!...That is why majority of "AMERICANS with color" are complaining... If you are so concerned about AMERICA and AMERICANS then why are you not protecting the rights of AMERICANS with a darker skin color who will profiled. You say "I dont have a problem showing my I.D if asked"....Well, for one, your I.D does not show your citizenship...2nd, would you feel the same way if you were being stopped everyday, on your way to work, leaving work, dropping your kids off at school, going to a restuarant, walking in the mall, having a BAR B Q at the park and having to prove your citizenship because the color of your skin..EVERYDAY.....Again, it is the fact that AMERICANS who are here LEGALLY will have to deal with this profiling that has us upset.

    JMZ.....Really?? Read your last paragraph. It makes no sense. So If I am hanging around a bunch a white people and Im dressed like them and I act like them and dance like them and talk like them......Is it safe to say Im white and I should be left alone????? Your statement holds no weight. I do not feel I have to prove my citizenship everytime I leave my house. And before you try calling someone else a "genius" make sure you do a spell check.

    I have some advice for my fellow Americans who are not of Hispanic Descent......Stop Tanning!!!!.....You might have to prove your citizenship...

    May 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  4. Holly

    There are so many valid points being made in these posts but what concerns me is that so many of us are not clearly understanding the law.
    First off: The new law in AZ mirrors already existing Federal Law.
    Secondly: It was tweaked on Thurs. to ensure that it would not be a tool for racial profiling.
    There's an excellent article from the Washington Post explaining the law should you wish to read it. Written by George Will.
    YES, there are many people besides Mex. who are here illegally. Unfortunately, it seems that the Mex. illegals are the most visible.
    While racial profiling became the buzzword after the US was attacked (9-11) it seems unfortunate that everything seems to be around race, race, race and not about the core issue. The Law.
    For those on here who claim that people who aren't "of color" don't understand what it's like to be racially profiled or discriminated against I can tell you that you don't know what it's like to live in LA County.
    Applaud Jan for having the backbone to enforce Federal Law in her own state and state's rights will hopefully remain alive and well in the USA. While this may have a lot of people's ire up, it may just be the catalyst we need for the entire country to sit up and take notice of a series of problems that have been brushed under the rug for way too long. Whether you agree with her or not (God forbid we obey law) you must acknowledge this was a brave act on her part.
    As for that young soldier's remarks, he should have been out of uniform. The military has their own set of rules to follow.
    One last comment: If you want to be taken seriously in your blogs people, learn to spell and use proper grammar.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  5. To Be Free

    I'm not sure what part of "Illegal" so many people don't understand. Illegal means illegal. Further more, I suggest we change the laws of this country to state that only children born to people in this country legally become legal citizens. Why should the children of people here illegally become US citizens.

    May 2, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  6. Esther in Phoenix

    Liz and XicanadeArizona, thank you. Unfortunately, some of the comments made by those who just do not or refuse to understand that this law legalizes racial profiling, has brought me a lot of sadness.

    You know, I remember years ago I told my children about some of the prejudices I have seen and experienced in my time and I made a comment to them, "at the end of the day, no matter what you do for a living, how much money you have, what a great compassionate human being you might be or how well educated you are, there will always be someone "American" who will see you as nothing but a "mexican". This has now come to pass, and as a parent, as much as I enjoy telling my children "I told you so", this is the only one time that I refrain from saying those words. By the way, one is in a leadership position in the Military, one a reservist and teacher, and the other, on her way to be pa pediatric nurse. Truly sad that racism is still alive and well.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  7. Concerned

    I am currently in the US armed forces. I have deployed multiple times over the past years. I am a Hispanic and proud of it. I agree that the young soldier should have went about expressing his views in a different way but what he is saying is true. People here are bashing him for what he said but I'm sure that those same people had made some mistakes in their lives. It is very obvious that many of the people who do not see anything wrong with this law are not of color. I am not saying that we do not need to do something about immigration reform but this is the wrong way to go about it. There is no way to tell if someone is illegal but just seeing them driving by. It is not like a drunk driver that displays physical signs that they are intoxicated. It is going by how the individual looks. If I remember correctly that many Americans that came here from Europe were viewed as criminals and viewed as bring down this nation. I have an idea...lets make all the "brown" people wear a star so we know which ones are legal and which ones are not. Sound familiar? I think Arizonians have and deserve the right to do what they can to protect their border but us Hispanics also have the right to be treated as human beings and not being stopped repeatedly just because we "look illegal." I just hope I never forget my wallet at home because I just may be sitting in a police station for awhile. Doesn't matter that I am a purple heart recipient ( not just one either) but the most important thing is that since I look illegal, I get pulled over on a regular basis. That is sarcasm for those of you that are just a little gifted on the ignorant side. One last thing, for those of you that do not believe it is racial profiling, try looking up the definition of racial profiling. You will see that the law and how it will be enforced is pretty much verbatim of the definition.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  8. DHF

    For all of you who are still ignorant of MILITARY LAW AND REGULATIONS, read DoD Directives 1344.01 (focus on paragraph 3.1) and 1344.10 (focus on paragraph 4.1.2). You'll find that this young Soldier violated FIVE of the restrictions under that paragraph by showing up in uniform. CNN, in getting their "story", irresponsibly cost that Soldier dearly.

    I fully suspect that CNN won't post this because they wouldn't dare let FACTS and CONCRETE EVIDENCE get in the way of promoting their agenda.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  9. Liz

    This law reminds of operation wetbag in the early 1900s where people were deported on "suspicion." But everybody seems to forget that once the government realized that they were deporting Italian Americans and others of European descent in the mix, there was a legislation put into place to stop this operation. I'm going to agree with the majority of the people who have posted their comments on this blog. YES AMERICA HAS AN IMMIGRANT PROBLEM on its hands that started when the Europeans came over and beat, rape, committed massive genocide against the natives (which by the way also included mexicans). If remember correctly from my history courses all of the territory west of the Mississippi was mexico, until the people were kicked of their own ancestral lands. I hear all this talk about this soldier and is giving everything for this country. Yet he is being scrutinized by the same people who are afraid of sending their own children to serve this country. This soldier has the constitutional right to protest. Leave him alone!

    April 29, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  10. XicanadeArizona

    Todd, Leave President Obama out of this. Legal and Illegal Immigrants have served in both world wars, what did you think that just now Latinos have sacrificed for our country?? Think again, you can start by thanking them along with the rest of our service members for giving you the priviledge to post your ignorant remarks!!

    April 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  11. Thomas

    It disgusts me that CNN refuses to report on Mexico's draconian and racist immigration laws. Illegal Mexicans might take note that it is your refusal to assimilate and your disparaging comments about Americans and our country that infuriate us. Mexicans treat our country like a hotel room. Stay and take care of your needs and then leave a mess for somebody else to clean up. I have no sympathy. If you want to gain some respect from Americans, protest the Mexican governments refusal to take care of it's citizens. America is not your babysitter.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  12. David

    For those of you defending this young PFC, you need to realize that by showing up to a political rally IN UNIFORM and criticizing the legislature of his home state of record, he is in direct violation of DoD Directive 1344-10 subparagraphs 4.1.2, 4.1.5, 4.1.6, 4.1.13, and 4.1.15.

    You can cry "free speech" all you want, but once you put on the uniform, you relinquish many of those rights. Expect his command to at least give him an Article 15 (best-case) or official letter of reprimand (worst-case) as a result of his actions.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  13. Sant

    I am all for securing the borders. But seriously, alot of these comments are ignorant. I have read many of your post and you make it sound like crimes are only committed by "illegals" and hispanics are the only race with gangs....Really? Hells Angels, KKK., Nazi Lowriders, Confederate Knights of America, Aryan Brotherhood and skinheads....Dont sound like hispanic gangs to me. And those are just a few of the thousands of non hispanic gangs. Is it safe to say that ALL white people belong to these groups??? ....Not to mention that everytime I look at the news I am hearing about child molesters, people murdering their spouses, parents murdering their kids, and hate crimes being committed on people of color....guess who they are...yup...White.....So the stereotypes works both ways. Before you start pointing the finger at another race, take a look at your own. At the end of the day, whether you black, hispanic, white, chinese or arab...criminals have no stop using the excuse that people of color (in this case hispanics) are the reason the crime rates are so high. If you look at the FBI's and US Marshals most wanted.....majority guessed it...white...Lets not forget Timothy McVeigh,Terry Lynn Nichols, the unabomber, and the Columbine Massacre were crimes committed by....should I continue? Should RUSH Limbaugh leave America because he wanted the President to Fail?? Sounds UnAmercian to me.....and you want to crucify this young Soldier fighting for our Country because he is concerned about his family??? The only thing majority of you have ever done for this country is complain complain complain.....

    April 29, 2010 at 1:27 pm |
  14. TJ

    A simple question. Watching politicians comments on TV it seems California welcomes illigal aliens. If I were an illigal I would quickly move to where the local government welcomed me. Why not move?

    April 29, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  15. jmz

    rogerb said" I think America has lost its soul and its brains, when did illegal immigrants from mexico becoma such a problem ?"

    Are you kidding me? I think its you that lost your brains. especially since you cannot figure out that we have been complaining about this for at least 20 yrs. not to mention you find it hard to understand why 20 MILLION illegals taking up resources that citizens need is a problem.


    XicanadeArizona " my citizenship to be questioned is absurd just because I fit the profile because the majority of illegals that are in AZ are from Mexico? "

    Another 'genius" who just stated exactly why he is being 'picked on' . apparently you are having trouble understanding do let me help you. it would be like me being with a group of gang bangers in a stolen car i didnt know it was stolen, but if im in the car im getting nailed with them. tell you what. when the majority of illegals are people like me, ill be more than happy to show my id. the fact that you say your legal born us citizan. but any intelligent response you should be madder than any of us that illegals are causing this to happen. but nope. your just another whinner who thinks your special and do not have to obey the law. Oh btw im a LEGAL immigrant proud of my chosen country and AZ's decision. not some illegal invader only lookin for a handout!

    April 29, 2010 at 6:21 am |
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