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Protesters against Arizona's illegal-immigration law released after four days in L.A. jail

May 10, 2010 |  6:48 am


Four days after they chained themselves together and blocked streets in downtown L.A., more than dozen critics of Arizona's crackdown of illegal immigration were released from custody.

The protesters face charges of interfering with police work and failure to disperse.

They blocked several streets around the federal detention center downtown, including Alameda and Commercial streets, causing traffic tie-ups.

“This detention center symbolizes the incarceration of so many immigrants and the separation of families,” according to a statement posted on a website by protesters.

The Arizona law, which is scheduled to take effect in July, would make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to be in that state and would require police to check the immigration papers of those they suspect lack legal status. It has produced a frenzied reaction on both sides, with lawsuits, rallies and boycotts against it and counter-protests in support of the law.

Lawmakers in at least a dozen states have announced plans to push similar measures to crack down on illegal immigration.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Thursday's demonstration in downtown L.A. Credit: L.A. Times