It led also to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice this year, aimed at the sheriff's widespread discriminatory policing.

All of this makes it obvious that increased civil disobedience is necessary to get the point across to the Obama administration.

"There needs to be a show of force," says Soto. "Meaning we're not going to let [the government] operate the way [it] wants to operate. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like."

Marco Albarran, "Che' Grifo Payaso." See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"
Marco Albarran
Marco Albarran, "Che' Grifo Payaso." See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"


More Crossing the Line viewpoints:

"Bordering on revolution: America's war on Mexicans has gone too far," by Michael Lacey

"Welcome back, Jim Crow: A tradition of keeping African-Americans voters from the polls," by Chuck Strouse

"Love the beans, hate the beaner: America's love-hate relationship with Mexicans and Mexican food," by Gustavo Arellano

Village Voice Media commissioned artists associated with the Phoenix-based cultural collective Xico to produce a series of covers for its papers -- each one is unique to each city -- for its national story on Arizona SB1070, "Crossing the Line." Here are those images with additional artworks and biographical information on the individual artists. Founded in 1975, Xico is a nonprofit organization that promotes Chicano, Latino and Native American heritage through the arts. Its programing includes arts classes and workshops for underserved youth, community exhibitions, artist education, printmaking workshops, the valley's oldest Dia de los Muertos/A Celebration of Life festival and small-venue performances. To find out more, visit

Isabel Garcia of the Tucson human-rights organization Coalition de Derechos Humanos agrees that Latinos and their supporters must ramp up public protests.

"At some point...there will have to be a call for mass disobedience," she notes.

Garcia fears that what she calls the "Tucson model" will become standard throughout the country.

Tucson is sixty miles north of the border, within the Border Patrol's constitution-free zone of operations. When Tucson cops run across someone they believe is undocumented, they call the Border Patrol, and the suspected illegal immigrants are carted away in trucks that look like dog kennels.

"Here [in Tucson], you can be back across that border in an hour, and your family doesn't know anything," says Garcia. "It's really brutal."

If the Supreme Court rules as predicted, Arizona law enforcement will have "absolute license" to practice racial profiling, she adds.

Pablo Alvarado, director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says his immigrant-rights coalition will "push back, hard" if the Supreme Court upholds the "Papers, please" portion of 1070.

That push-back will take many forms: legally (Alvarado's group is already a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against 1070); by supporting anti-1070 legislation, such as California's proposed TRUST Act; through political pressure to create new "sanctuary cities"; and by taking it to the streets.

"We will create a [moral] dilemma for everyone, friends or foes," Alvarado promises of the coming wave of protest.

His organization plans a Freedom Ride-style bus tour through states with 1070-like laws. In the bus will be scores of undocumented families who will present themselves to local and federal authorities in different cities, daring law enforcement to arrest them.

Alvarado said the idea was inspired by students agitating for the DREAM Act nationwide. In Alabama, D.C., Florida and Arizona, these activists, brought to this country when they were children, have declared themselves "undocumented and unafraid" while participating in acts of civil disobedience.

One of the more daring examples of DREAM Act civil disobedience occurred in March, when 150 student protesters blocked a street in west Phoenix. Six undocumented students chose not to move from the center of the street and were arrested, thus risking deportation.

In a YouTube clip released to coincide with her arrest with the others, Daniela Cruz explained how she and fellow DREAMers were fed up with living in a limbo where they cannot legally work or go to college at an in-state tuition rate. America is the only home they've ever known, and they demonstrated that they are through being victims.

"I'm willing to risk everything I have," Cruz told her audience. "I'm willing to risk being deported, because I'm done seeing people be scared."

To the surprise of both her and her jailers, ICE holds on Cruz and her cohorts were mysteriously lifted during their 28-hour stay in Joe Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail. They were released on misdemeanor charges.

Cruz and her pals quickly became heroes in the Latino community.

"One day we'll be reading about them in history books!" declares Arizona senator Steve Gallardo, who is pushing for repeal of 1070.

Gallardo predicts increased public protests in the wake of the expected Supreme Court ruling. "I'll be right there with them," he says.

A demonstration by the Phoenix human-rights group Puente scheduled for June 23 will target Arpaio's infamous Tent City. Hundreds of Unitarian Universalists who will convene in Phoenix during that weekend for a national conference will participate in the protest.

The Unitarians and Puente teamed up in 2010 for a massive show of anti-1070 civil disobedience that rocked Phoenix.

Puente's Carlos Garcia cites the example set by the DREAM Act kids as one to emulate.

"When undocumented people confront the system, it crumbles," he says. "And it becomes clear that they are more afraid of us than we are of them."

Given the status quo — a deadlocked Congress, an indifferent Supreme Court, and a president who's playing politics at the expense of his Latino constituency — what's needed this election year is the type of unrest this country hasn't seen since the 1970s, something on par with the 2011 student protests in Chile, where thousands of students took over Santiago to protest that country's unequal education system.

A refrain from the Shining Soul song "Papers" sums up the situation Latinos find themselves in — once again.

"Click-clack/We're under attack/Fight back/It's war."

Stephen Lemons is a staff writer and columnist for Phoenix New Times.

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My Voice Nation Help

No other race/creed has had issues with becoming a citizen, learning the language and working hard to make a better future, why do they?


Regarding Michael Lacey's story. PSSSST....... Michael..... If someone is living and working in the US without documentation they are already a criminal. SB 1070 didn't criminalize anyone. Who is really at fault if a couple come into the US illegally and has a kid then gets caught and deported? You also left out 2 other benifits,in your story, brought to us by the illegal aliens. Check out the percentages of rapes committed in the US by illegal aliens to any other race. Check out the percentages of hit and runs committed by uninsured illegaly aliens to any other race.

Ram Fan
Ram Fan

ummm are you kidding me? Racism has nothing to do with illegal immigration. This law requires people to provide legal documentation of being in this country. Nowhere does it say: "Deport all the Mexicans" like you are insinuating. Read the law.

Ram Mcelroy
Ram Mcelroy

This is excellent. They'll gather up all the illegals in one place. Saving us a TON of time!

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Or send them back to country of origin together, then nobody gets hurt. They are hurting tax paying citizens of the U.S.A. and we are tired of getting soaked by them.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Tell your bretheren then to stop breaking into our country to demand handouts and come in the front door like normal people do.

Luis F Lopez
Luis F Lopez

Looks like all the racists are coming out of the woodwork !! remember when you guys used to come out in the middle of the night and burn black people houses and left burning crosses on their front yards ? then the hooded Casper look like clowns marching in the woods ? I wonder what the end will be ??? stay tooned !!