Just as she did on Wednesday, the New York Times's pro-amnesty immigration reporter Julia Preston portrayed Arizona's popular crackdown on illegal immigration (now before the Supreme Court) as controversial in "A Hearing And Rallies Over a Law In Arizona." Thursday's edition also featured an above-the-fold front-page photo of a stoic Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer passing "opponents of her state's immigration law outside the Supreme Court."
Hundreds of chanting demonstrators filled the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, denouncing an Arizona immigration law that was under debate inside, saying it would spread fear among Latinos in the state.
Protesters from Latino communities in Arizona, carrying crosses and images of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico, called on the justices to strike down the disputed provisions of the law, warning that they could unleash a wave of discrimination in the state.
But while the protesters, who also included labor and religious groups, denounced the civil rights abuses they said the law would bring, inside the court questions asked by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. early in the arguments clarified that the case did not directly concern racial profiling or other rights claims.
Preston used scattered protests to suggest the act was unpopular, though a recent Quinnipiac poll shows voters by 62-27 percent think the Supreme Court should uphold the law.
In Washington and around the country, protests against Arizona were far more numerous than public actions in support. Demonstrators in Washington chanted civil rights-era songs, and clergy members in white robes from several faiths led a silent march around the court building.
Georgina Sanchez, a protester who came from Phoenix, said families there that included illegal immigrants were worried the court would uphold the law. “The children live in fear that their parents will not come home one day,” she told the crowd.