PHOENIX (AP) — Critics of a polarizing immigration law in Arizona plan to stake out Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in downtown Phoenix on Tuesday despite triple-digit heat.
The pro-immigrant group Somos America plans to have up to 75 members stationed outside Chase Field to pass out white ribbons to fans and spread their message against the law, widely known as SB1070.
Roberto Reveles, the group’s founding president, told The Associated Press that they want to express their opposition to the law and chose white ribbons as a symbol of peace and unity.
“This is an all-American sport that’s being celebrated and Latinos are playing very key roles in the sport,” Reveles said.
He said part of the reason why his Phoenix-based group targeted the game is because many of the fans will be coming from outside of Arizona.
“We want them to know that there is more than a very extremist anti-immigrant attitude in Arizona,” he said. “There are many of us dedicated to working together to build a better Arizona.”
SB1070, passed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April, requires all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers and requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question people’s immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
The law is being challenged in federal court.
Initially after it passed, activists called for baseball to move the All-Star game from Arizona. Commissioner Bud Selig declined and said it was a political issue, prompting critics to ask players, coaches and fans to boycott the game as part of a wider call for companies to stop doing business with Arizona.
Although at the time several baseball players spoke out against the law and said they might skip the All-Star game if picked, the protests largely fizzled out and there was no indication Tuesday that any players or coaches wouldn’t play because of the law.