AZ Immigration Law Fuels Protests in 80 Cities

On May Day thousands demonstrated against rules they say will lead to racial profiling.

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May Day protester in NYC (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty)

Today thousands of demonstrators in 80 cities across the U.S. protested Arizona's draconian new law targeting illegal immigration, and called for federal reform.

It was the fifth year in a row that nationwide immigration rallies were held on May 1, but this year -- in the wake of Arizona's passage of a controversial state law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration -- emotions were especially raw.

"I want everybody to know that this law is absolutely ridiculous," said Felicia Ruiz, one of hundreds who gathered in downtown Phoenix near the Arizona state capitol. "[The law] is not going to solve anything."

In Washington, dozens were arrested peacefully for failing to disperse near the White House in a choreographed display of civil disobedience. In Chicago and Dallas, protestors filled city streets; in Los Angeles, site of the nation's largest gathering, a massive crowd inundated downtown....

The new Arizona law, which was passed last month, requires local police to question anyone they reasonably suspect is an illegal immigrant. It also makes harboring illegals a crime. Opponents say the law opens the door to rampant racial profiling.

"The law is unwise," said Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. "It's stupid and it's racist. From my point of view, it's a national embarrassment."