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Dec 04,2007
Immigration issues percolating in Phoenix
by UPI

PHOENIX -- Rising tensions over illegal immigrants in Phoenix have attracted a conservative Washington group considering suing the city on behalf of local businesses.

The mayor's office said it would have no comment on Judicial Watch's decision to send an investigator to the city ahead of last weekend's protests that featured 200 demonstrators divided roughly equally in support for and against undocumented workers, The Arizona Republic reported Monday. Eight people were arrested nearby on suspicion of violating immigration laws but no protesters were taken into custody, the newspaper said.

Judicial Watch officials say they want to help business owners who for years have complained about day laborers who gather in the area hoping to be hired.

"We're doing all we can to try to help out some business owners who are being jerked around pretty badly," said Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch's research director. "You've got taxpaying citizens who are just being treated like dirt."

But others counter that not all day laborers are illegal immigrants.

"They think they're the only Americans," said Victor Guerrero of Phoenix, pointing to protesters carrying American flags. "Just because we don't have blond hair and blue eyes doesn't mean we have to carry a sign around our necks saying that we're not illegal."

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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