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Amid Immigration Debate, a Crackdown in Arizona on Transporting Undocumented Migrants

Arizona Border Control Vehicles - Photo: ThreadedThoughts/Flickr

Arizona Border Control Vehicles (Photo: ThreadedThoughts/Flickr)

The controversy over illegal immigration reached a fever pitch in Arizona this week.

Yesterday, more than 800 law enforcement officials raided shuttle van companies who allegedly pick up undocumented immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and drive them to U.S. cities. 47 people were reportedly arrested in the operation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement agencies.

Feet in Two Worlds’ Reporter Valeria Fernandez talked about the raids and the reaction of immigrants in Phoenix on PRI’s The Takeaway this morning.

On Wednesday, the Arizona House of Representatives approved legislation making it a crime to be in the state without proper documentation. The bill would be the strictest state anti-immigrant measure in the nation. The  Arizona Senate is expected to approve the legislation, at which time it will land on the desk of Governor Jan Brewer. Immigration advocates are protesting the legislation, but many doubt Brewer, a Republican, will exercise a veto, since it’s an election year and she’s facing a conservative challenger.

If the legislation becomes law, police will be authorized to arrest undocumented immigrants, as well as sanction drivers who knowingly transport illegal immigrants, even their relatives.

Read more from Valeria Fernandez.

AboutFeet in Two Worlds
Feet in Two Worlds brings the work of immigrant and ethnic media journalists from communities across the U.S. to public radio and the web. Since 2005, this award-winning project has expanded the diversity of voices and stories on public radio by presenting the work of journalists representing a broad spectrum of immigrant communities including Arab, Bosnian, Brazilian, Chinese, Haitian, Indian, Irish, Latin American, Pakistani, Polish, and Russian immigrants. Feet in Two Worlds reporters appear on nationally-distributed public radio programs including PRI’s The World, Studio 360, and The Takeaway, American Public Media’s Marketplace and NPR’s Latino USA, as well as on public radio stations WNYC, New York Public Radio, and WDET in Detroit.