Immigration law sparks US protests

Thousands of people across the United States have gathered for protests against a tough new immigration law passed in the state of Arizona.

Demonstrations were expected to take place in more than 70 cities on Saturday, with activists saying the Arizona law had motivated calls for an overhaul of immigration legislation on a national level.

The law, signed last week by Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona, requires immigrants to carry papers proving their right to residency and allows the police to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

“She’s awakened a sleeping giant,” John Delgado, a labour organiser in New York, said during a rally attended by more than 5,000 people.

“That’s the fuel that motivated them to come here, because of the sadness of the Arizona law,” he said.

In Los Angeles, an estimated 60,000 people joined a march through the city’s downtown area, many waving US flags.