Jul 19, 2013 1:43 AM by Nathan O'Neal

Group holds community forum on SB 1070

TUCSON - A group of immigrant rights activists held a community forum Tuesday night to discuss their experiences in getting questioned by law enforcement about their legal status.

When police stopped Ruben Espinoza in a traffic stop last week, it ultimately led them to call Border Patrol, which is when activist Raul Ochoa stepped in and placed himself underneath the Border Patrol car.

"We're getting to the point where we've tried so many things to stop the detentions and deportations that it's going to take us doing direct action," Ochoa said. He demands change and accountability with Arizona's controversial immigration law S.B. 1070.

"Currently we're encouraging everybody to document interaction with police when they call Border Patrol because the more documentation they have, the more proof it is that there's racial profiling going on," Ochoa said.

The American Civil Liberties Union recently developed a smart phone application that has gained popularity for the purpose of reporting complaints in regard to S.B. 1070.

James Lyall, an attorney with the ACLU's newly opened office in southern Arizona said that most people aren't fully aware of what their rights are under S.B. 1070.

"If you're not suspected of a crime, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer law enforcement questions and that's something that people forget," Lyall said.

As the debate of the law heats up, Tucson Police Department spokesman Sgt. Chris Widmer told News 4 Tucson recently that they have no discretion when calling Border Patrol.

"We are mandated through S.B. 1070 when we're going to make an arrest for a criminal violation whether we do it or whether the jail does it to contact Border Patrol," Widmer said.


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