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Thousands protest sheriff’s immigration efforts

Via Raw Story- By The Associated Press
Saturday, January 16th, 2010 — 10:31 pm

PHOENIX (AP) — Ten thousand immigrant rights advocates marched in front of a county jail in Phoenix Saturday in a protest that was aimed at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration efforts and was marked by a clash between a small group of protesters and police officers.

Organizers say the protest was meant to show officials in Washington that Arpaio shouldn’t handle immigration enforcement, and that Congress and the Obama administration need to come up with a way for immigrant workers to come to the country legally.

The three-mile walk that started in a west Phoenix park ended by afternoon at the Durango Jail Complex, a collection of five jails, where officials played music, including a record by singer Linda Ronstadt, to drown out noise made by protesters. Ronstadt took part in Saturday’s protest.

Protesters chanted “Joe must go” as they approached the jail complex. One person carried a sign that said “We are human” and bore a picture of a lawman with a wolf’s face. A family of five wore T-shirts saying “Who would Jesus deport?”

For his part, Arpaio said he wasn’t bothered by the protesters and that they should be directing their frustrations at Congress because it has the power to change America’s immigration laws.

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