Grijalva calls on Obama to battle a new Arizona immigration law


Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called on President Barack Obama to fight a new law signed Friday in Arizona that gives police power to request ID from suspected illegal immigrants.

Grijalva, speaking at a rally Sunday at the Arizona state Capitol, asked Obama to not cooperate with the law, according to the Associated Press.

"We're going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we're going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist law," Grijalva said.

Nearly a week ago, Grijalva and Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) asked Obama to shun the law. On Friday, hours before Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law, Obama criticized it. "The recent efforts in Arizona ... threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans as well as the trust in police and their communities that are so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

"Our message today is: 'Mr. President we listened, and we came out in record massive numbers to support you,'" said Gutierrez at the rally. "We need you to support us today."

Grijalva, who has previously called for an economic boycott of Arizona over the bill, closed his regional offices early Friday because of reported death threats.

The controversial part of the bill text reads that law enforcement officials are required to "determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state ... if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S."