El Paso Protesters Ask Deputies to Arrest Them
POSTED: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 9:51pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 11:25pm
El Paso - It was quite a scene outside the El Paso County Courthouse Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of people lined up along the sidewalk, wearing handcuffs and showing off signs that said things like "I'm proud to be a Hispanic" and "You shouldn't judge by appearances." The group was protesting Arizona's controversial immigration law which will allow local law enforcement to ask for someone's papers if they suspect they're in the country illegally.But this protest was just beginning.
Next the group of about 30 walked down the block to the El Paso County Detention Center. "We're here to turn ourselves in to show El Paso what would happen if a law like that would happen in Texas," said protester Zelene Pineda. Inside, the protesters were met by El Paso County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Jesse Tovar. One by one they asked to be arrested. "I am Hispanic and proud. And the law 1070 says that if you're my color you're a criminal. That's why I've come to turn myself in," said one. Another said, "because of the color of my skin that gives them the right to arrest me so I'm here to get arrested."
In response Tovar calmly said , "we can't allow you to pass. It is not a crime to be Hispanic. We're not in support of that law we and we don't racial profile. After about 10 minutes the group left and not one arrest was made. That was somewhat of a relief to the demonstrators who felt they got their message across. "I think it went great, it was a good demonstration."