Arizona Immigration Law Protesters Flood Streets Despite Injunction

Dozens arrested. Gov. Jan Brewer vows to fight injunction blocking the law.

July 29, 2010, 3:53 PM

July 29, 2010 — -- Despite a judge's ruling to delay enforcement of most of Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants, protesters against the law descended on Phoenix.

Hundreds gathered at the federal courthouse at dawn. Others beat on the metal door of the county jail. Others gathered in Los Angeles, New York City and Mexico.

Tempers flared with the triple-digit heat. More than 50 people that participated in protests were arrested in Arizona.

Maricopa County illegal immigration his mission.

Protesters chanted "Sheriff Joe, we are here, we will not live in fear."

On the heels of today's protests, Arpaio launched one of his controversial crime raids targeting illegal immigrants.

"Joe Arpaio has picked the easy targets, the day laborers," said Liz Hourican, a protester. "Let's go after the real criminals and stop wasting our money."

Arizona has become the epicenter of the nation's immigration debate. Officials estimate that there are 460,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued a temporary injunction of some of the most controversial parts of the law, including the requirement that police officers check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws. Bolton also delayed enforcement of parts that required immigrants to carry their papers and that banned illegal immigrants from seeking employment in public places.

What has actually changed under the new law is that it's now a state crime for anyone to transport illegal immigrants.

That didn't seem to stop the day laborers that ABC News spoke with who were waiting for work outside of a Home Depot. They said they are no more afraid today than they were Wednesday.

One day laborer, Rene, said he has been in this country illegally for 20 years and outside Home Depot every morning looking for a construction job. He said that he hadn't seen any police around today.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has vowed to fight the law, calling the injunction a "bump in the road."

Click here for more stories from ABC News' special series "Out of the Shadows: Illegal Immigration in America"

Who Is Gov. Jan Brewer?

Brewer's fight to secure the border and deport illegal immigrants has made her a household name. Before she signed the nation's toughest immigration bill in April, few even knew her name.

"With my unwavering signature on this legislation, Arizona strengthens its security within our borders," Brewer said after signing the bill.

Before the immigration fight and before the governorship, Brewer was Janice Kay Drinkwine, born in Hollywood, Calif.

She married and moved to Arizona in the early 1970s and raised three sons. Her involvement in school politics started her political career.

From there, she became Arizona's secretary of state and when Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano left the state for the Obama administration, Brewer took over as governor.

Since becoming governor and making immigration one of her core issues, she's become a conservative darling.

On Fox News, Sean Hannity told Brewer, "You have been willing to take on the entire government and the president of the United States."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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