Apr 292010
 
Authors: Rachel Childs

Cries of human and civil rights violations have prompted students and faculty at CSU to organize a “walk-out,” where people leave school and work to assemble for a cause.

Many have been outraged over Arizona’s new bill passed last Friday, which requires law enforcement officers to check the citizenship status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Critics of the bill have said it essentially mandates racial profiling, though the bill specifically forbids the practice.

“There’s much more to this situation than most people know about and it’s important to learn about,” said Morgan Dorn, who helped organize the protest.

Protestors will meet at the Lory Student Center Plaza at 1:30 p.m. The crowd will move to the West Lawn, where they will listen to ethnic studies professors Norbert Valdez and Ernesto Sagas speak about the bill’s effect on Latinos.

“Something needs to change. It is atrocious that a law in this day and age can be passed,” said sophomore English major Elliott Houseman-Turrubiate, one of the event’s main organizers.

The walkout is the brainchild of the activist group Forces Empowering All Rights. CSU student organizations La Raza and Fair Advocates for Cultural Truths banded together to sponsor the protest.

“The walkout is a form of protest. That’s just one of our ways of protest to show how many people are against it,” said Mayra Soto, La Raza’s public relations officer.

The event’s Facebook group has recruited more than 450 participants who are willing to leave their classrooms and join the cause.

Supporters of the bill claim that it is needed to stem a seemingly unstoppable flow of illegal immigration into the state. Republican Colorado governor candidate Scott McInnis recently said that he would support a similar bill for Colorado, according to the Denver Post.

CSU College Republicans Vice President Natalie Maher said she agrees with Arizona’s decision.

“I don’t believe it’s racial profiling because it allows the police to only question and arrest them if they have reasonable suspicions or suspicions of their legal status,” Maher said.

College Republican President Kelly Carnal disagrees with the walkout, but stands by the group’s use of the First Amendment.

“If people can get out there and express themselves, that’s their right and they can do that,” Carnal said.

Staff writer Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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