Peter Schworm and Liz Kowalczyk
April 25, 2010
To supporters, the new Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants is a sensible, overdue response to an intractable problem. To opponents, it is a draconian outrage that will lead to systemic racial profiling and widespread harassment of Hispanics.
And in Massachusetts, where an estimated 190,000 immigrants live illegally, the unusually strong measure, which would give police sweeping powers to detain those suspected of immigration violations, drew visceral reactions on both sides yesterday. On Boston Common, activists denounced it as discriminatory and urged the crowd to fight for its repeal.
“As Americans, we must stand up against this law,’’ Elena Letona said at a midday demonstration. “It’s a travesty, and it’s a moral outrage.’’
Groups that favor stricter controls on illegal immigration praised the measure for giving police more authority to arrest and deport people who are violating the law.