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1 Aug, 2010 06:38

Arizona immigrants rejoice over court decision

A US Federal district court has removed the harshest provisions of a new Arizona immigration law, just a day before the legislation was to come into effect.

Should the provision have been passed, aliens would have been forced to carry papers at all times, with the police having the right to check on their immigration status.

Ever since Governor Jan Brewer signed the controversial immigration law, immigration activists in Phoenix, Arizona, have come together every day, praying from 5am to 10pm. Now that the harshest provisions have been abolished, they say their prayers have been answered.

The immigration community in Arizona have come together to celebrate the court’s decision.

"Today I feel great. I kiss the sky. Oh my gosh…..everyone was so excited and pray and cry and yell and hugs," says an immigration activist. "We [have] been in prayer every day, 24 hours a day.”

“This has taken over our lives….right now this is the only issue we can work on, because there is so much demand for it and we're right here. We're directly in the thick of it, on the front lines of what is a national struggle," says Jonah Clary, immigration activist.

However, Clary is not very optimistic about the future of the Hispanic community.

"A lot of the immigrants who are coming here are coming to escape the political and economic systems that we created in their country," he says."They are coming here for the ability to live, the ability to have food, shelter – what they need to take care of their families – and they can’t have that where they came from largely as a result of United States imperialism in their country."

This sentiment is shared by native-born and naturalized citizens alike.

"This country is so criminal in its actions all over the world. It has no right to tell one group of people not to cross borders when it's crossing, illegally crossing, borders all over the world to bomb innocent people," says Rafael Kadaris, a reporter from Revolution newspaper.

In any case, Arizona immigrants seem to be determined to stand up for them.

"We're all humans. We all have come here for a better future. This is just the first step. We have to continue making our voices heard and our presence known," says one of the women at the celebration.