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Rights groups rally at AZ Capitol to protest GOP-led immigration measure

Activists from more than a dozen community and advocacy groups around Arizona rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday morning to protest a piece of legislation they say would target immigrant communities in the state. 

HCR 2060 would make it a crime under state law to enter Arizona outside of a port of entry and give local law enforcement the authority to carry out those arrests.

Chris Gilfillan is the political director of LUCHA, one of the groups rallying at the Capitol.

"We understand that there needs to be some more federal regulation and border security, and we’re willing to work on that aspect at the federal level, but we’re not going to make immigration a state crime," he said.

 The legislation follows HB4, a similar law passed in Texas. But Giilfillan says Arizona's version is in some ways more restrictive, because unlike Texas, it would allow police to make arrests inside churches, schools and hospitals. He and dozens of other activists came to the Capitol on Tuesday morning to show their opposition as Senate lawmakers deliberated. 

"Policies like this get written in silence," he said. "And so we want to make sure that we are seen ... because we don't want our policy governed in silence."

The vote is on hold until next week as senators discuss amendments to the measure, including the removal of language targeting undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as "Dreamers."

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.Prior to joining KJZZ, she covered border and immigration at Arizona Public Media, where she was awarded a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her coverage of Indigenous-led protests against border wall construction.Reznick started her career working in bilingual newsrooms and as a freelance journalist in Amman, Jordan. Her reporting on migration, refugees and human rights has appeared on PRX’s The World, Al Jazeera and Nova PBS, among others. As a recipient of the International Labour Organization's FAIRWAY Reporting Fellowship, she spent six months reporting on labor migration issues across Arab States.Originally from Flagstaff, she likes climbing, being outdoors and Pluto.