Derby Day protest against Arizona law planned

Several local social justice organizations are organizing a protest at Churchill Downs on Derby Day to speak out against the state of Arizona’s strict new immigrant law. Led by the Kentucky May Day Coalition, which represents different church groups, labor unions and civil rights activists, demonstrators plan to pass out at least 2,000 fliers Saturday morning at all intersections leading to Churchill Downs to educate attendees about who the law targets.

“The Derby itself would not be possible without immigrant workers and that’s the point we’re going to make this Saturday,” says Stephen Bartlett, a co-convener of the coalition. “If you examine it, the horse farms, the trainers and even a lot of the jockeys are all immigrants. It’s the underground economy of the whole horsing industry.”

Set to take effect in midsummer, the controversial new law makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to be in the state of Arizona, requires local police to question anyone about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are in the country illegally and bars people from hiring or soliciting work off the streets. Its passage has created a national debate about the need for immigration reform and a furor over the implications of its enforcement.

“It’s a racist law,” Bartlett says, adding the measure is a new Jim Crow law.

However, supporters argue the law only allows local police to enforce existing federal immigration statuettes. And recent polling indicates that 71 percent of Americans support requiring their own police to determine a person’s legals status if there was “reasonable suspicion” that they were illegal immigrants.


  1. Puhn Tang
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    We’ve come a long way since Cesar Chavez and Ralph Abernathy marched arm- in-arm AGAINST illegal immigration and organized the very successful grape boycott. Of course, Chavez and Abernathy were racist brown shirts. PS I’m sure the Churchill folks just love Bartlett reminding all concerned that illegal immigration is “the underground economy of the whole horsing (sic) industry.”

  2. you are retarded
    Posted April 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    This is ridiculous… Why does a state have to pass a law to enforce an existing law? What is everyone complaining about? Blah, blah, blah, racist my ass. There is a reason they are called illegal immigrants… Why is that so hard for some people to understand? Hooray for Arizona!!

  3. JJ
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure a lot of legal immigrants and civilians could work for the horse industry. I have been around horses all my life. I find it sad these people are so selfish when people around the world have to get on a green card lottery. Selfish and racist are these lawbreakers with their “la raza” signs and hatred for everyone but themselves. It’s not like they just hate whites the gangs that have spread over here kill blacks because they are inherently racist. The dumb thing is that most “Hispanics” are European in background too or a mixture. I’m Native American and European in background so am I hispanic? It’s so dumb people are still hung up over skin colors. It is like the Dr. Seuss book The Sneetches.
    Grow up and obey the laws of a country and immigrate the right way. If I had overstayed my Visa in Europe, they would have dealt with me right away. I would rather America stay and become more of a melting pot of the entire world than just one whole country invading our border. America is and should stay a quilt that grows larger and larger as everyone adds their culture to the pattern. It is troubling to see people who want to hate everyone but themselves try to call everyone else a racist for enforcing a law. It is supposed to be the 21st century. Skin color, eye color, hair color are a moot point. You can change all that anyway. You can not change your personality (as much) and that is what matters not superficial differences.

  4. JJ
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand I would love to sneak into the Czech Republic and say I’m half Czech so stfu if they get mad. Prague sounds really nice. I’d love to be siting there with a glass of Absinth listening to accordion music right now. ;)

  5. Steve Magruder
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    There is a reason these people won’t use their real names with opinions like these. It’s because they know their positions are indefensible.

    What they conveniently forget is actually a simple concept: The many American citizens and nationals who would get caught up in this, and thus have their rights abridged.

    Further, this law puts more enforcement weight onto the state and localities, and we have even seen many of the local policing authorities object due to general lack of funding for what they are already required to do.

  6. Magruder's Adick
    Posted May 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Gee, Magruder, all four commenters made cogent and defensible “indefensible” positions. Maybe Arizonans are just tired of the feds not doing their jobs and fired a warning shot across the bow.

  7. Steve Magruder
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    #6 proved my point. Thank you.

  8. PaulHosse
    Posted September 9, 2011 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I’ll use my mine Steve and I’ll tell you that illegal “immigration” is wrong and so is not learning English, or worse, making everyone else adopt to your language. I support immigration. We are a nation of immigrants. Just do it the right way.

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    Posted August 21, 2014 at 6:54 am | Permalink

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