Ariz. Immigration Law Hearings Underway

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The legal battle over Arizona's immigrations law began Thursday amid a packed courtroom with dozens of protestors outside.

Nearly 150 spectators and 30 lawyers attended the hearing on whether Arizona's strict immigration law will go into effect in one week.

Several protestors who don't like Arizona's tough new law against illegal immigrants got themselves arrested and taken to jail for illegally blocking the road in front of the courthouse.

"The fate of millions of migrants is under one judge, and we're hoping that she does the right decision," said one protestor.

Other demonstrators who want the law enforced carried signs reading "Illegal is Illegal."

CBN News spoke with Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice about the law and whether it oversteps constitutional authority.  Click here for his comments.

"I hear the judge is fair and she's thorough and she is unafraid to do the right thing so I, I'm hoping that she doesn't bend under pressure," a female protestor said.

Both sides say they're hopeful the judge hearing the seven cases against the new law will rule their way.

"We are hopeful how she will rule," said Yung Suhn Park of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. "She has a full understanding of how important this law is and all the risks with the law."

Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R), an enthusiastic backer of cracking down on illegal immigrants, sat in the courtroom Thursday listening to U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.

"She certainly understands the dangers that Arizonians face in regard to harboring illegals in the state of Arizona," Brewer said. "I believe that it was a well prepared presentation of where Arizona is going and the direction in which we want to take our state in regards to the protection of its citizens of Arizona. I am very confident that Arizona will prevail in this injunction."

Opponents of the new law say it will lead to racial profiling, and that it's unconstitutional since immigration is a federal matter.

Supporters say Arizona has to do something since the government won't do enough to secure Arizona's long and increasingly dangerous border with Mexico.

"Our state did the right thing to protect its citizens and the community," Arizona resident Jesse Hernandez said

Arizona's new law will take effect on July 29, unless the judge blocks the measure.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.